Nunavut MLA Samuel Nuqingaq faces two criminal charges
Information documents allege incident in Qikiqtarjuaq this past Feb. 24
Following more than two months of rumour and speculation, information documents on file at the Nunavut Court of Justice reveal that Uqqummiut MLA Samuel Nuqingaq is officially in trouble with the law.
Nuqingaq, 42, faces two criminal charges: one charge of assaulting another man, Tony Alan Aulaqiaq, and one charge of being unlawfully in a dwelling-house, relating to an incident alleged to have occurred Feb. 24 in Qikiqtarjuaq.
The charge of being unlawfully in a dwelling-house alleges that he entered a house with the intent to commit an indictable offence.
The charges were not sworn until April 25, before a justice of the peace.
Nuqingaq also signed a promise-to-appear document that day. This means he must show up for court June 26 at the Qikiqtarjuaq hamlet gym.
The maximum penalty for simple assault is five years imprisonment, if the Crown prosecutes the charge by indictment. For being unlawfully in a dwelling-house, the maximum is 10 years imprisonment.
This past March 6, MLAs suspended Nuqingaq from the entire winter sitting of the Nunavut Legislative Assembly, about 10 days after the assault is alleged to have occurred.
No Nunavut MLAs were able to tell Nunatsiaq News why they made that decision.
During the assembly’s winter sitting, Joe Savikataaq read a motion that said the house will review Nuqingaq’s suspension before the assembly’s spring sitting.
That sitting starts later this month, on May 22.
Prior to that incident, MLAs cut Nuqingaq’s wages because of his absences from part of an orientation session for newly elected MLAs held this past November.
Nuqingaq beat out Niore Iqalukjuak of Clyde River to win the Uqqummiut riding after a judicial recount that followed the 2013 territorial election.
Election night results showed two candidates tied at 187 votes each. The recount showed that Nuqingaq won by just two votes.