Department Heads Suspended

BY GORETHY KENNETH

CABINET has suspended four departmental heads over the controversial Manumanu land deal in Central Province for the relocation of army barracks and naval base.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced the Cabinet decision yesterday, days after sidelining ministers William Duma and Dr Fabian Pok, and ordered a commission of inquiry while the Opposition has pursued an investigation with the Ombudsman Commission.

The National Executive Council directed the Minister for Lands and Physical Planning Benny Allen and acting Minister for Public Enterprises and State Investments Charles Abel to suspend two other executives over the same issue.

These suspensions are pending the Commission of Inquiry announced by Mr O’Neill in a press conference earlier this week over the alleged K78 million sale of the Manumanu land.

Cabinet convened at 2pm yesterday in Port Moresby and made the following decisions:

  • Defence Secretary Vali Asi suspended and Trevor Mearui appointed as acting Secretary;
  • Lands and Physical Planning Secretary Luther Sipison suspended and Terry Wanga appointed acting Secretary;
  • Central Supply and Tenders Board chairman Philip Eledume suspended and Dr Ken Ngangan appointed acting chairman;
  • Directed the acting Minister for Public Enterprises and States Investments to suspend Motor Vehicle Insurance Ltd managing director and review the appointments of MVIL board;
  • Directed the Lands and Physical Planning Minister to suspend the Valuer General and Lands Title Commissioner; and
  • Suspended State Solicitor Daniel Rolpagarea.

suspension

Mr O’Neill said natural justice would take its course and individuals would have the opportunity to address relevant issues through three review processes.

“I have announced a Commission of Inquiry into the land deal, headed up by a retired judge, that will get to the bottom of the claims that have been made,” he said.

“At the same time, the matter has been referred to the Commissioner of Police for consideration by the National Fraud Squad, and to the Ombudsman Commission for potential breaches of the Leadership Code.

“This level of scrutiny is expected by members of the public to ensure transparency in Government decision making processes. From the evidence before us, it does appear that individual Government agencies have acted in a way that must be reviewed. The relevant investigations will be transparent and independent.

“I call on members of the Opposition to not play games with investigative processes and allow due process to take its course,” Mr O’Neill said.

Earlier Mr O’Neill had announced that the Public Enterprises and State Investments would be taken care of by the National Planning Minister Charles Abel, and Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Mao Zeming would take care of Defence.

The Ombudsman Commission confirmed that it is already looking into the issue and yesterday afternoon Police Commissioner Gari Baki also said he has received the files and passed the papers onto the anti-fraud and corruption directorate director detective Chief Superintendent Matthew Damaru who was now going through the files.

The National Executive Council directed the Minister for Lands and Physical Planning Benny Allen and acting Minister for Public Enterprises and State Investments Charles Abel to suspend two other executives over the same issue.

These suspensions are pending the Commission of Inquiry announced by Mr O’Neill in a press conference earlier this week over the alleged K78 million sale of the Manumanu land.

Cabinet convened at 2pm yesterday in Port Moresby and made the following decisions:

  • Defence Secretary Vali Asi suspended and Trevor Mearui appointed as acting Secretary;
  •  Lands and Physical Planning Secretary Luther Sipison suspended and Terry Wanga appointed acting Secretary;
  • Central Supply and Tenders Board chairman Philip Eledume suspended and Dr Ken Ngangan appointed acting chairman;
  • Directed the acting Minister for Public Enterprises and States Investments to suspend Motor Vehicle Insurance Ltd managing director and review the appointments of MVIL board;
  • Directed the Lands and Physical Planning Minister to suspend the Valuer General and Lands Title Commissioner; and
  • Suspended State Solicitor Daniel Rolpagarea.

Mr O’Neill said natural justice would take its course and individuals would have the opportunity to address relevant issues through three review processes.

“I have announced a Commission of Inquiry into the land deal, headed up by a retired judge, that will get to the bottom of the claims that have been made,” he said.

“At the same time, the matter has been referred to the Commissioner of Police for consideration by the National Fraud Squad, and to the Ombudsman Commission for potential breaches of the Leadership Code.

“This level of scrutiny is expected by members of the public to ensure transparency in Government decision making processes.

From the evidence before us, it does appear that individual Government agencies have acted in a way that must be reviewed. The relevant investigations will be transparent and independent.

“I call on members of the Opposition to not play games with investigative processes and allow due process to take its course,” Mr O’Neill said.

Earlier Mr O’Neill had announced that the Public Enterprises and State Investments would be taken care of by the National Planning Minister Charles Abel, and Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Mao Zeming would take care of Defence.

The Ombudsman Commission confirmed that it is already looking into the issue and yesterday afternoon Police Commissioner Gari Baki also said he has received the files and passed the papers onto the anti-fraud and corruption directorate director detective Chief Superintendent Matthew Damaru who was now going through the files.

 

http://www.postcourier.com.pg/Stories/211971/#.WJu6j2996Ul

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s