Sipison vows to work with Tkatchenko

Court reinstated Lands Department Secretary, Luther Sipison, has vowed to work with Lands Minister, Justin Tkatchenko, and support positive initiatives undertaken.

Sipison said this in a media conference earlier this week following a meeting with Department management.

Sipison was reinstated following a National Court decision on April 16, 2018 quashing his suspension in light of the Manumanu land deal controversy.

Flanked by former Acting Lands Secretaries, Oswald Tolopa, and Tiri Wanga, and senior Lands Department Staff, Sipison, announced his resumption of duty as Lands Secretary.

He said he was relieved and glad to be back after 14 months of suspension.

Sipison was suspended by the National Executive Council on February 8th 2017 after allegations over his involvement in the controversial Manumanu land deal.

He said he participated in the Administrative Inquiry under the Chairman, John A Griffith QC, and is glad that the report has cleared him.

“As to the missing files, I left everything when I was suspended. I have no knowledge of this and I deny any wrongdoing. The report of page 77 at paragraph 13.21, that there was no material to sustain a conspiracy allegation against me.”

Sipison said he was now focused on serving the Department and Minister Tkatchenko.

“I am prepared to serve the Department under the leadership of the Minister for Lands & Physical Planning, Justin Tkatchenko. I commend the Minister for the initiatives taken and stand ready to support him.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary, Oswald Tolopa, who vacates the Acting Secretary role, said they will support Sipison and continue the change in the Department.

Cedric Patjole