Reasons stated as basis by the Opposition Leader Hon. Mathew Wale calling for the sacking of the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Robson Djokovic are baseless.
That’s according to prominent lawyer, Wilson Rano who owns the Wilson & Rano law firm.
Djokovic is at the centre stage of media debate when the international media (Australian newspaper) exposed his past involvement in doggy dealings and republish in the local media outlets.
The Australian newspaper reported that the Prime Minister’s nephew Mr. Djokovic, is a convicted criminal in Australia.
The lengthy report outlined that he was convicted for burglary, fraud and drugs offences, which Djokovic did not deny when interviewed by the Australian newspaper, but referred to them as his past.
Other information have also revealed that Mr. Djokovic is an Australian citizen.
The Australian newspaper further revealed that Mr. Djokovic sought an AUD700,000 “consultancy” payment from Axiom Mining Ltd through a Fijian lawyer in exchange for allowing Axiom to hold on to its Isabel nickel project.
This “consultancy” payment was to be made by Axiom to a company called Echelon consulting which Mr. Djokovic is revealed to have owned 50 percent shares.
Information also suggested that Wilson Rano, the PMs Legal counsel and secretary of Our Party, is another shareholder.
Axiom Mining refused to comply with the demand by Djokovic.
These assertions as reported by the Australian newspaper and republish in the local media outlets exasperated the Opposition Leader Mathew Wale to issue a statement this week, calling on the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to sack his nephew Mr. Djokovic and also urges the PM to also consider his position as PM.
But responding to those allegations Mr. Rano said the reasons as stated by Wale regarding the media reports are baseless.
“The fact that Mr. Robson Djokovic’s records were being used as political tool is not new.
“Mr Wale himself used it in 2007 and fed it to Dr Derek Sikua as ground for the motion of no confidence against Sogavare in 2007 and in 2017.
“Hon Wale himself had been receiving money for his children’s school fees and for his own benefit from Gold Ridge Mining in return for political favours.
“He sided with Mr Ryan Mount who is obviously well known for putting out facts which are not correct, “Mr. Rano added.
See below Rano’s clarification on the Axiom consultancy
I read with great concern the level in which Mr. Mount has gone to agitate his agendas through the local and international media. It seems that the Australian media is being used by Mr. Mount for media litigation to placate AXIOMs 7,500 shareholders and regulators.
As a serial litigant in the Courts of Solomon Islands, Mr Mount should respect the judicial process given the fact that AXIOM is currently the Claimant in several claims in the High Court to avoid sub-judice. I have faith in the Solomon Islands judicial process to unravel the truth.
Be that as it may, I recall having a meeting with Ryan Mount, and Mr Stratton (a well-known Australian Lawyer) representing Axiom Mining Company Limited at Nadi, Fiji in 2016. This was after Axiom KB Ltd was licking its wounds from the SMM v Axiom Case which our Court of Appeal dismissed both Axiom’s Licence and SMM’s licence and found that the Commissioner of Lands with the help of Axiom KB Ltd and Ryan Mount illegally registered a lease over Takata/Kolosori tenement.
The meeting in Fiji was purposely to come up with a legislation in which we can try and push through Parliament to secure the San Jorge and Takata Tenements for Axiom Mining Co Ltd. It is an idea which Mr Mount was championing in light of his position that the Mines and Minerals Act simply failed to recognize investors like Axiom and how Axiom is the only company capable of properly mining San Jorge and Takata.
As a professional, my position has always been that I would be willing to do all legal means possible to do the work in consultation with Mr Stanton and Axiom if Axiom is prepared to put its money where its mouth is. I drafted a consulting agreement between Axiom Mining Co Ltd and myself and stated that my consulting fees is AUD$700,000 and payable on instalments upon achievement of each stages of the proposed legislation.
Of course in doing so I would have needed the assistance of people I trust and who can help in pushing these agendas forward. I remember discussing this with Mr Djokovic who at the time was a freelance consultant and was not yet employed by Solomon Islands Government. Because of his skills and connections Mr Djokovic would have been instrumental.
By the end of October 2016, Mr Djokovic joined the Government as Chief of Staff and has advised that he could no longer be involved. Because Axiom could not afford this the matter we could not be take the matter further. It is not however, because Mr Mount discovered that Mr Djokovic was a partner in Echelon Consulting Ltd. Echelon Consulting Ltd was a registered company I registered in 30 January 2015 and has nothing to do with Mr Djokovic.
Anyone interested can go to the Company Registry website to search it.
The only connection between Mr Djokovic and Echelon Consulting Ltd is me. It is no secret that Mr Djokovic and I have been business partners for many years which on his part has been disclosed in full to the Leadership Code Commission.
On a legal point of view, Mr Mount’s action can be no more than what lawyers call sub-judice, in that is he is agitating and trying issues in the media he and Axiom KB Ltd are now putting before High Court in a judicial review action where he challenges the Government’s action in refusing to consider Axiom’s prospecting licence, export permit and also the cancellation of its Foreign Investment Certification.
AXIOM continues to fund litigation battles, yet is unable to pay its due to the Isabel Provincial Government with regards to Business Licence to enable him to operate lawfully in Isabel.