COI must investigate all dealings: Kua

The Commission of Inquiry (COI) Terms of Reference must investigate all parties and transactions in the Manumanu land deal, says Sinasina-Yongomugl MP Kerenga Kua.

The PNG National Party parliamentarian leader made this comment following a decision by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for COI to investigate the land purchase to relocate the PNG Defence establishment out of Port Moresby.    

“The actual key to a successful COI is the scope of the TOR, which under the Act is prepared by the Prime Minister. Any limitation in the scope will instantly place restrictions on what is covered in the inquiry and the entire exercise will be farce,” Kua said.       

“Therefore as the Minister responsible for setting up the inquiry, he must assure Papua New Guinea that on the onset, he will include for scrutiny all those involved in the process, beginning with the Defence Force itself, the Manumanu and Gabadi landowners, the Board of Kumul Consolidated Holdings, the Registrar of Companies, Valuer General, Registrar of Titles, and the Internal Revenue Commission.

“The TOR must look into the claims of possible conflict of interest and disclosure of such interests by the private companies and their officials involved in the transaction and disbursement of the proceed of the sale.

“The nine Defence Force personnel terminated must be included in the inquiry for questioning.”

The Prime Minister announced on Monday that the COI will be headed by a retired judge and will take eight weeks to complete.

Defence Minister Fabian Pok and State Enterprises Minister William Duma had stepped aside to allow investigations into their ministries.

Also, cabinet had suspended Department of Defence Secretary Vali Asi, Lands Secretary Luther Sipison and Central Supplies and Tender Board chairman Philip Eludeme, pending outcome of the COI.  

Charles Yapumi