Minister of Environment Titus Fika has dispelled allegations that he has signed a permit allowing a foreign logger to export tubi logs. Fika strongly rebuffs the claim and urges those who advance such false allegations to stop spreading lies as the matter is now before the court.
“At no time I signed any documents permitting the export of tubi,” Fika told SBMOnline.
Transparency Solomon Islands was the latest to attack Fika stating that they were appalled to see the minister telling lies when he in fact he gave Sunrise Investment Ltd to sell the logs.
TSI said the letter was copied to the Attorney General and was signed by Fika with his name on it and not the former minister Dickson Mua.
In defence, Fika said this is not correct.
He said he had signed two letters. One was authorizing the state to sell – but it never stated who to sell to. However, Fika adds that is no longer happening as the matter is now before the court.
In that regard, Fika said he has signed another letter to the Attorney General for him to seek the Court to quickly deal with the case because of the interest that it attracts.
He said the government would respect the court process and whatever is the outcome.
“To say that I signed a letter to sell the logs to whoever is not true,” he said.
“I know what I am doing and I am a man of principle. I know I am doing the right thing for this country,” Fika said.
“If they were swimming in a mud then surely I am clean and standing from a distance and watching,” said the MP for West Kwaio.
The minister said one of the parties had used one of his former pupils at prime school on Isabel to convince him to reverse the decision and allow for them to export the logs.
However, the minister said, he stood by his decision.
Meanwhile, Transparency Solomon Islands is concerned that the seized tubi logs was not put on tender or let the resource owners to sell but instead given to the same convicted company found guilty by the court and pay the find of $50,000.
According to Fika nobody had the right to export the logs as the matter is before the court.
Read TSI’s accusations below: