PNG Prime Minister Halts Commission Of Inquiry Into Manumanu Land Deal

O'Neill: Supreme Court order says all COI's are illegal; administrative investigation to be done

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, March 30, 2017) – Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told Parliament yesterday that the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the Manumanu land deal was halted because of an earlier court order.

O’Neill was responding to Kairuku-Hiri MP Peter Isoaimo the reason the Government had deviated to an administrative investigation.

Isoaimo asked if the Government would stand by its undertaking and return the land to the people from his electorate.

“I have committed an inquiry into this Manumanu land matter,” O’Neill said.

“But subsequent to that, I was advised by our officials that there was a court order in place.

“Posman Kua Lawyers went to the Supreme Court and got an order to say that commissions of inquiries in this country are illegal.

“That matter is being challenged in court and while it is in court, we cannot establish a Commission of Inquiry.

“This is an order from the Supreme Court.

“But that does not mean we cannot have an inquiry continuing.

“That is why we are putting an administrative investigation to establish the facts on why systems of Government have fallen apart, why Government officers have compromised themselves.

“Police are also doing their own investigations, they are well advanced and will make their own decisions soon.

“At the same time, the Ombudsman Commission is making their own investigations, so the matter is certainly not over.

“On returning of land back to people living there, I have made a commitment in this parliament and we will return where they are settling back to the landowners.”

The National
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