Thursday, May 1, 2014
|Out of a job: Isikeli Ligairi at right.|
The bitter feud and jostling for senior authority between two of Fiji police’s top brass has ended with one of them being sacked for insubordination. Acting Police Commissioner, Ravi Narayan, and assistant commissioner of police, Isikeli Ligairi, have been at war since last year when Ligairi was away on a mission in Sudan and Narayan was made acting deputy commissioner, even though he was 57, and there were repeated calls for him to be sent home. Narayan this week dismissed Ligairi citing the regime’s 2013
|Narayan: accused of abuse of power|
Constitution, which allows him to hire, fire and discipline as he sees fit, saying every officer is expected to display loyalty and uphold the law. Insiders, however, say Narayan has abused his power to get the ‘real deputy commissioner’ out.
Narayan was made acting deputy commissioner by former police chief, Ioane Naivalurua, who is now ambassador at large after the regime failed to renew his contract last year. Readers will recall earlier C4.5 stories that Narayan was as unpopular as Naivalurua, with officers saying he wormed his way into the senior position by backstabbing Ligairi and dismissing a number of senior officers when they turned 55, as decreed by the regime, but keeping himself in the job.
Insiders say Narayan’s term as commissioner was to have ended last year but he survived the chop by lobbying the Minister of Defence to confirm him as deputy chief, in Ligairi’s absence.
They say police protocol clearly states this is in breach of the Police Act as Narayan was over 55 at the time.
He had been told by the Permanent Secretary for the Public Service that his contract would not be renewed but worked for two months without pay until the Minister of Defence confirmed him as deputy and he was made Acting Commissioner of Police.
Insiders say Ligairi, who is believed to be in his 40s, and Narayan squared off last year in November when they both applied and were overlooked for the role of new Commissioner, both bombarding the selection panel with claims and counter claims.
Ligairi took one and a half months leave then resumed duties just two months ago but continued to dispute the 58 year old Narayan’s appointment.
Both knew of course that one of them would have to step down with the pending appointment of the new commissioner.
Insiders meanwhile claim Narayan has also been questioned by senior officers over trying to have his son’s assault case dismissed or delayed and the file subsequently going missing.
Readers will recall that Ligairi has also been exposed on these pages as having cost the police $35,000 after tumbling a brand new vehicle out of work hours. (http://www.coupfourandahalf.com/2011/03/report-deputy-police-commissioner-got.html)
While there is fallout over the dismissal, again showing the ongoing divisions that led to Naivalurua losing his job, moles say Frank Bainimarama is wary of bringing the new police chief in before the elections, especially with the four complaints against him for breaching the election decrees, and Narayan has a safe passage to the end of the year