National statistician speaks on near arrest

National statistician Roko Koloma claims that police fronting up at the National Statistical Office last week Friday was unnecessary and out of context.

Last week, police turned up in numbers at the NSO office at Waigani to carry out an arrest on Koloma.

However, they were unsuccessful as the national statistician had refused to come out of the building without proper procedure from the police’s end.

Among the allegations levelled against Koloma was the misappropriation of at least K250 million from the National Statistical Office.

“We are not saying we didn’t do anything wrong but process must be followed,” said Koloma in a press conference today.

“This issue has been communicated to the appropriate people in the police department and will be dealt with accordingly.”

Koloma noted that the incident was blown out of context; they were all traumatised by the intimidating presence of the police on Friday.

“We were treated like common criminals,” he said.

However, he is aware of these allegations and will follow through proper channels to deal with them.

Meanwhile, Koloma claimed there were people who were working towards tarnishing the name of NSO and in particular, his reputation.

He said history was trying to repeat itself since a former national statistician was pushed out because someone had his own interest.

The statistician claims that some of the content, or in particular allegations against him were untrue.

He stated this after confirming that he had received a letter from the Police Crime Investigation Division to go down to the station for an interview on allegations of misappropriation.

“I received a letter but the content of the letter is totally not true, so why should I respond to that,” he said.

He stressed that he can go through with the procedure however, this situation needs to be looked through from the beginning - following due procedure, including audits.

(National statistician Roko Koloma)

Imelda Wavik