Nekaifes says Fitial instructed him to prevent FBI agents from serving penal summons to Buckingham


Jermaine Joseph Wabol Nekaifes, a former police captain who served as escort/driver of then-governor Benigno R. Fitial, testified today, Wednesday, that Fitial instructed him not to allow Federal Bureau of Investigation agents from approaching and serving a penal summons to former attorney general Edward T. Buckingham at the Saipan International Airport on Aug. 4, 2012.

Nekaifes said that when two FBI agents arrived at the airport, Fitial talked to him on the phone and instructed him to prevent the agents from serving the summons to Buckingham.

Nekaifes said he did not follow the then-governor, who is his uncle, because he respects the FBI.

Nekaifes disclosed that he came to an agreement with the Office of the Public Auditor and the Office of the Attorney General to testify and tell the truth. In exchange, he said he was promised that his criminal charges will be dismissed.

Nekaifes and Fitial and several others are among those charged by OPA of alleged conspiracy to shield Buckingham from being served with penal summons.

The bench trial of Buckingham will continue tomorrow, Thursday, at the Superior Court.

More details to follow.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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