Ombudsman Commission

OC seeks clarification from Supreme Court

The OC wants to find out whether the proposed increase of nomination fees, from K1,000 to K10,000, and the security of costs of an election petition, from K5,000 to K20,000, are constitutional.

“The Commission, through the Supreme Court Reference, will ask the Court to consider the question of whether the proposed amendments to section 103 of the Constitution, and section 87 and section 209 of the Organic Law on National and Local-level Government Elections are constitutional,” the OC said in a statement.

OC confirms receipt of Opposition’s land acquisition complaint

“The Commission notes the seriousness of these allegations and the great public interest surrounding it and urges all parties involved to follow proper channels and procedures to seek redress,” says the OC in a statement.

Acting Chief Ombudsman, Michael Dick, says like any other complaint, the OC will assess the grievance through its screening process under both the Leadership Code and the administrative complaints functions. They will then determine whether to carry out an investigation or not.

OC application to add evidence refused

A Supreme Court bench consisting of five judges refused the application because it was incompetent and an abuse of the court process.

The court will now proceed to hear arguments from parties in the reference under section 18 (1) of the constitution. This will take place at a later time.

The application which was refused last Friday was filed on Oct 20.

The application asked the five-man Supreme Court bench to allow the Ombudsman Commission to include additional materials or facts into the reference book, to assist the court in its deliberation of the reference.

Ombudsman to inform court on next move

On Sept 2, a five-man Supreme Court bench found that the process involved in the referral of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for prosecution under the Leadership Code in relation to the K3 billion Union Bank of Switzerland loan was unconstitutional.

The case in the National Court was referred to the Supreme Court by Justice Collin Makail returned before him on Tuesday.

Justice Makail told the court the OC should immediately come back and advise the court on its position since the Supreme Court ruling in September.

UBS Reference hearing date set

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia in a directions hearing on Friday fixed the hearing date for the reference on Tuesday, Dec 13 before a three-judge Supreme Court Bench.

Parties in the case; the Ombudsmen Commission, Former Chief Ombudsman Rigo Lua and former Acting Chief Ombudsman Phoebe Sangetari, Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, and the Attorney General were ordered to file their arguments by the end of November.

The Ombudsman Commission was also ordered to file notices of the hearing to the Prime Minister’s lawyer and the Attorney General.

Parties told to file statements in UBS Reference

Lawyers representing the Ombudsman Commission, Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, the Attorney General and the State appeared before the Supreme Court today and were directed to file statements within the next two weeks that will be used in the case hearing.

Former Chief Ombudsman Rigo Lua and former Acting Chief Ombudsman Phoebe Sangetari are also parties in this case as interveners.

They were all directed to return to court on Oct 3 where the draft index book is expected to be settled before a hearing date for the Supreme Court Special Reference is set.

Yangoru agri-business a ‘political gimmick’

Polye said he was not talking down the country’s investment and the economy but was shedding a light on realities.

When commenting on the project, Polye said he would not be surprised to see this project as another scam to bleed taxpayers’ money.

He said when he was the Treasury Minister he budgeted K50 million for Sepik Plain under a commercialisation plan.

​Ombudsman Commission’s appeal dismissed

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia dismissed the appeal on Thursday. However, he said the Ombudsman Commission is at liberty to file a Supreme Court review of the National Court’s decision of Jan 28, 2015.

He said if a review is filed by the Ombudsman, it will be determined on its merits.

The Ombudsman’s appeal was dismissed after the court was told that the documents for the appeal could not be located in the registry, despite a Supreme Court reference number or court file number being given for the case on March 6, 2015.

OC appeals against judge’s decision

Lawyers representing the Ombudsman Commission told the Supreme Court on Monday afternoon they are appealing against the decision of Jan 28, 2015 which saw the National Court allowed Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill certain orders restraining the Ombudsman Commission and obtain a reference under section 18(2) of the constitution for interpretation.

PM rebuffs Polye on Chief Ombudsman vacancy

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, who is the committee’s chairperson, only announced that a meeting will be convened in the New Year.

The Chief Ombudsman's position is currently vacant after Mr Rigo Lua's term in office expired last year.

Ombudsman Phoebe Sangetari now serves as the Acting Chief Ombudsman.