A sad day for late police officer's family: Commander

Today marks a sad day for NCD Metropolitan Command, the NCD/Central Divisional Command and most importantly, the family of late Senior Inspector Andrew Tovere.

“Late Senior Inspector Andrew Tovere was the Superintendent Operations for NCD Policing Zone 3 when he was tragically attacked and killed,” said NCD/Central Divisional Commander, Anthony Wagambie Jnr.

“Late Senior Inspector Tovere succumbed to injuries sustained in a brutal attack and passed away yesterday afternoon. 

“He was killed after a confrontation with off duty soldiers who were under the influence of alcohol.

“Late Tovere and his team went to the ATS Community Police post when the incident happened.

“He was hit with a large branch across the abdomen by a Military Officer who was off-duty at the time of this tragic incident.

“After sustaining the blow, SIP Tovere collapsed some time later and was rushed to Port Moresby General Hospital, where he underwent surgery and blood transfusions before he was taken to ICU. At that point doctors found that his condition had worsened. He later passed away.

“Tovere's death shocked members of the NCD Police and brought about a lot of anger among them.

“A large convoy of Police units then gathered at Port Moresby General Hospital but were directed to go to Boroko Police Station where acting Metropolitan Superintendent Chris Tamari and I would address them.

“At this point, the frustration and anger had swelled among the members and most of them drove to the PNGDF ATW to demand for the hand over of those responsible for SIP Tovere's death.

“When we learnt of this, the acting Metsupt and myself went straight to ATW and met up with Colonel Eddie Mirou, who is the Commanding Officer of ATW.

“Mr Miro came to meet our convoy with some of his soldiers.

“After the meeting, we managed to get all Police units to return back to Boroko.

“At Boroko, we conducted a briefing and told all personnel to exercise restraint and allow for the PNGDF to bring in the suspects.

“The Military is equally concerned and they have located and detained one suspect connected to SIP Tovere's death.

“He is now being questioned.

“The prime suspect in this homicide case is a commissioned officer, at the rank of Lieutenant. He reportedly fled from the Barracks and is being pursued by the PNGDF.

“Our police officers must understand that not all members of the PNGDF ATW were involved in this incident. This crime was committed by a few off-duty personnel. The PNGDF, especially ATW, is cooperating and they are eager and willing to hand over the suspects.

“Police investigators are now working closely with them,” added Wagambie Jnr.

“As such, it is in the best interest of every one of us to ensure unnecessary confrontations are avoided at this point in time.

“We have partnered well in many joint security operations and this must continue.

“The individuals involved in this crime will be dealt with by Police when handed over.

“I call on officers and rank and file of both Disciplinary Forces to exercise restraint and understanding and allow the process of law and justice to take place.

“Commissioner David Manning has been in constant dialogue with PNGDF Commander regarding this incident. The Commander has assured Police Commissioner of their support in this matter. They have assured the Commissioner and will bring in the murder suspects.

“The acting Metsupt NCD Chris Tamari and I have also been in contact with senior PNGDF officers to ensure that this is done without delay.

“We will work together to bring those involved in the murder of late SIP Tovere to justice.

“On that note, let me express on behalf of all members of NCD/Central Command our most profound heartfelt condolences to the family of late Senior Inspector Andrew Tovere.

“He was a fine officer and leader.

“He took command of NCD Zone 3 and transformed this area of responsibility in a very short period of time.

“Under his leadership, the performance indicators, more particularly, police efficiency and productivity at this command were beginning to improve until his untimely demise.

“Zone 3 extends from Gordon to Six-Mile, Airport, Eight-Mile, Nine-Mile and Bomana.”

Press release