Acting Deputy Public Prosecutor, Simcha Blessing has confirmed that Armstrong Masanga, the Secretary of the Council of Ministers (COM), has been remanded over the death of a Filipino in front of a nightclub in Port Vila last weekend.

Mr Masanga was driving the bus which fatally hit Ferdinand Soriano.

Mr Blessing said the allegation leveled against Masanga is that he intentionally killed Soriano after he was refused entry at the club in the early hours of December 23, 2018.

He said Masanga, who hails from Malo is facing one count of Intentional Homicide, contrary to section 106 (1) (a) of the Penal Code Act [CAP 135].

Prosecutor Blessing said Masanga is also facing an additional count of Causing Death by Reckless Driving against section 12 of the Road Traffic Control Act [CAP 29].

He said the investigation is still underway and the defendant may face more charges, including driving under the influence of alcohol.

He said Masanga attempted to enter the club at the time but was refused by the security guards, who forced him to leave the area.

Prosecutor Blessing said CCTV footages revealed the deceased has just walked out of the club.

He said the late Soriano was looking at his phone and did not see the bus.

Prosecutor Blessing said that Masanga allegedly intended to beat the guards at the front of the club, who had to make way after spotting the bus approaching at a high speed.

He said Masanga will definitely spend both Christmas and New Year in custody.

The deceased’s body is being kept at the morgue in Vila Central Hospital, awaiting his brother who is arriving from Philippines on January 1, 2019 to fly him back for burial.

The late Soriano was a former employee of Bi Consulting Engineering Firm and more recently he was employed at the Island Construction.

Police are appealing to drivers to slow down when driving through the town, especially during the festive season.