Commission of Inquiry (CoI)

O’Neill before inquiry

The former Prime Minister said he is surprised that senior ministers who were part of his 2014 cabinet, were not briefed on the K3 billion UBS loan and other transactions. 

“For any NEC cabinet decision, the Prime Minister does not make unilateral decisions,” said Mr O’Neill.

He said the complex transaction to acquire the K3 billion loan from UBS was to buy back shares from IPIC.

In 2019, the Somare-led government acquired loans from IPIC, Abu Dhabi to fund the PNG LNG project.

Aust solicitors to assist in CoI

The contract signing was held recently at the Government House between Governor General Sir Bob Dadae and Minter Elison Solicitors, represented by Michael Sullivan from Leahy Lewin Lowing and Sullivan Lawyers.

The contract is at a value of K18 million.

Ellison Solicitors will provide seven solicitors and other technical personnel who will support the Commission and the three overseas Counsel assisting the Commission.

Advocate opposes downgrading of COI into land deal

The land in question refers to portions 154, 406, 421, 422, 423 and 424 of Manu (NE) Fourmil of Aroa for the establishment of a proposed PNG Defence Force Naval Base.

“I agree entirely with the call by the landowner leaders from Manumanu/Gabadi villages for a Commission of Inquiry and not an Administrative Inquiry,” states Motu-Koita land advocate and former secretary for the Department of Information and Communication, Henao Iduhu.

Action must be taken on Manumanu COI: TIPNG

Chairman of TIPNG, Lawrence Stephens, says TIPNG welcomes efforts to uncover facts and investigate alleged wrong doing.

“It is in the interest of the people of Papua New Guinea and particularly the people of Manumanu that the investigations be carried out immediately and those that are found to have acted fraudulently to be charged and face the courts.”

TIPNG, however, remains appalled by the long list of multiple COIs that have not yet been acted on and individuals named continue to enjoy impunity.  

Agencies instructed to provide land acquisition reports

Portion 406 in Manumanu was acquired at a cost of K46m by Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCH) for the PNG Defence Force barracks relocation.

Cabinet made a decision in 2012 to relocate these Defence facilities to a suitable site.

O’Neill said the reports will assist with investigations by the Commission of Inquiry (COI), the Police Fraud Squad and the Ombudsman Commission.

The COI will be established to examine the allegations involved in the Manumanu land deal against senior ministers and senior members of departments.

COI to investigate Manumanu deal

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill made the announcement today following full examination of briefs provided by Government agencies involving the land deal in Central Province.

O’Neill said it is in the public interest that he has decided to establish the COI to investigate allegations levelled against senior ministers and senior members of departments.

The matter has also been referred to the Police Commissioner for the Fraud Squad to carry out its own investigation.

The Ombudsman Commission will also carry out their own investigations for leadership code breaches.

Duma, Pok step down over allegations

This was announced today by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in a media conference.

The COI will be set up to investigate allegations that have been leveled against some senior Ministers of the Government and senior members of government departments.

This follows a full examination of the breach that was provided to the Prime Minister by government agencies that were involved in the Manumanu land deal in the Central Province.

Get foreign experts to chair students’ CoI, says Polye

Opposition Leader Don Poyle welcomed the Prime Minister’s decision but the CoI should be balanced and fair.

“I do not trust the police commissioner; I want highly placed people from Australia, New Zealand or England who have the same jurisdiction like ours (PNG) to chair the CoI.

“The terms of reference must be strictly confined to the shooting and unlawful wounding of students yesterday, police operational orders, rules of engagement and use of lethal force of unarmed civilians,” Poyle said.