SINU suspends five staff members amid allegations of fraud

Professor Aqorau at the 2023 SINU graduation ceremony.

Vice Chancellor of the Solomon Islands National University (SINU), Professor Transform Aqorau, has taken decisive action in response to allegations of fraud activities involving printing by Wakaman Inc.

He suspended five staff of the University with immediate effect pending the finalisation of an Internal Audit investigation conducted with the support of the National Crimes Unit and Janus Task Force.

Professor Aqorau said “following a thorough investigation that spanned seven months, SINU has suspended five staff members implicated in the alleged fraudulent practices. The investigation, initiated in December 2022, was prompted by reports of irregularities and financial discrepancies related to printing services provided by Wakaman Inc, a company that does not own a printing machine”.

Professor Aqorau said, “SINU, committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and accountability, took the allegations seriously and launched a comprehensive inquiry into the matter.

Professor Aqorau said “as a result of the investigation, evidence was uncovered suggesting the involvement of certain staff members in fraudulent activities pertaining to printing contracts awarded to Wakaman Inc. In light of the seriousness of the allegations and the potential violation of SINU’s code of conduct, the decision to suspend the implicated staff members has been made pending the completion of the investigation.

The suspended staff members will be afforded due process and given an opportunity to present their side of the story before any final disciplinary action is taken.

SINU remains committed to ensuring a fair and unbiased investigation, providing the accused individuals with a chance to be heard and offering them the opportunity to respond to the allegations in an appropriate manner.

Professor Aqorau said, “the suspension of these staff members’ underscores SINU’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and ethics within its organisation. The University views any form of misconduct, especially fraudulent activities, as a grave violation of its values and principles.

As an institution of higher learning, SINU places great importance on fostering an environment of integrity and accountability. SINU acknowledges the gravity of the situation and assures its stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, and the wider community, that it will continue to prioritise transparency and fairness throughout the investigation process. The University will take all necessary steps to address the issue appropriately and ensure that justice is served.”

Professor Aqorau added that “SINU remains resolute in its commitment to delivering quality education and upholding its reputation as a premier institution of higher learning in the Solomon Islands. The University will not tolerate any actions that undermine its core values or compromise the trust placed in it by its stakeholders. The outcome of the investigation, including any disciplinary actions taken, will be communicated to the public once the investigation is concluded, and all parties involved have been duly heard and accorded fair treatment.