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PNG'S CHIEF JUSTICE COULD BE CORRUPT, HERE'S WHY

by LEKEM LAKI

The Deputy Chief Justice his Honour Gibs Salika rightly said in the national paper dated 14th March 2016 titled “Graft a disease” and he referred to the level of corruption rampant in the country cutting across every sector of PNG society. In that he meant to say, corruption isn’t “growing but is overgrown”. The concern raised is alarming in nature but it doesn’t become a cause of concern or raises goose bumps. The corruption is entrenched and deeply embedded in every stratum of government bureaucracy and agencies.

The practice is normalised and given the longevity in continued practice, it has become a norm or second nature if you like to people who practice. With the proliferation of corruption, people aren’t remorseful or let alone raise goose bumps.

The Department of Justice and Attorney General Secretary Dr. Lawrence Kalinoe refused Damarua’s request to engage private law firm. Damarua and the entire Fraud Squad team aren’t fighting tooth and nail the monster (overgrown corruption) for his or that of his colleagues gain. 
However, Kalinoe purportedly denied Damarua and intend is ill-conceived. Kalinoe’s position is dishonest and politically motivated. He was under immense pressure and was given specific direction to take an action and had no choice but to listen and be loyal to political master protecting his employability. Peter O’Neil’s finger print is evident through Ano Pala, well executed by the machinery Kalinoe.

Kalinoe, in his good frame of mind, denied the people of PNG by turning down Damarua’s request for a decent and worthy course. Since Tom Kulunga’s forceful retirement, successive appointments to the Commissioner’s post weren’t based on merit. Appointments were suicidal and politically engineered to serve the ruthless corrupt regime. The rift between the team led by Damarua and successive Commissioners of Police was overtly exhibited in the public domain. It is a public knowledge that Baki team is pro Peter O’Neil. Apparently, Commissioner Baki and his predecessor put their soul and heart into protecting Peter O’Neil’s corrupt regime. Writing is clear on the wall. Doesn’t need rocket science to define it.

Substantial resources have been so far exhausted on legal bills from tax payers’ money by the Commissioner of Police both Vaki and Baki protecting ruthlessly corrupt Peter O’Neil. Surely brief outs from Baki will never eventuate and same is true with the Department of Attorney General’s office. Kalinoe’s political master corrupt Ano Pala is implicated for diverting the course of justice in PM’s arrest saga and surely he will pull the string from behind the scene. Never forget Ano Pala is an instrumentality taking orders from Peter O’Neil and execute for he is hell-bent to do nothing less than that.

The raging battle staged by minority taking the bull by the horn can be likened that of David verses Goliath. The ruthless corrupt regime is mastering every imaginable trick and employs all necessary resources using institutions of state to stay the tide. Natural persons and corporate bodies, with full knowledge, propping the ruthless tyranny of totalitarian regime need to take note, water always finds its level. Truth in eventuality will triumph. Lie and error will give way when truth marches on. Truth is likened that of a river that one can’t stay the course. How hard tried, in the finality, error, lie and all forms of deception will concede and succumb to truth, honesty and justice.

This over grown corruption has now infiltrated into the justice sector and into the courtrooms of national and supreme courts. Judgements deliberately get delayed for longer durations and justice being denied in totality. People need not attend school of law to be legally literate to predict the likely outcome of court cases basing on the presentations made in the courtroom. But, intuitively people do use God given mind and logic; it isn’t rocket science to determine the likelihood of verdicts in court. 
We’ve closely observed number of controversial court proceedings entailing the NPF saga implicating Jimmy Maladina and Peter O’Neil. The former intriguingly was given 7 years suspended sentence. Julian Moti affair, Paul Paraka scandal involving K71.8 million. Payment of K10 million to Eramas Wartoto which landed Paul Tienston in incaseration. Purchase of two gen sets from Israel through LR group without following proper procurement process facilitated by D. Vele and L. Bakani for initial K50 million but blown out of proportion to the tune of K100 million plus. Controversial UBS loan without the approval by Parliament and the list is endless under the ruthless totalitarian regime headed by PO.

For some bizarre reasons, the controversial cases that have the potentiality to break or make the country get twisted and distorted and dragging on and on and on. Important cases of national significance, in my view, should take precedence over others. Lawyers who are making legal representation of corrupt members of Peter O’Neil team, on purpose, file application after another to buy time and simultaneously frustrate the aggrieved party. The action of lawyers isn’t inadvertent but tactfully calculated and on the contrary, otherwise is true that the learned Judges having informed view and yet, keep entertaining.

Notably, there are classical examples to demonstrate and highlight judgements gets delayed from one year to another and delivery of impaired and corrupt judgements after a prolonged delay. With the court of disputed returns for Enga regional seat, Sande Talita versus Peter Ipatas shockingly was delayed for unexpectedly prolonged duration courtesy of the chairman of Supreme Court panel until 16th March 2016. Another, the Chairman for Supreme Court for election petition case between Lucas Neah and John Pundari for Kompian-Ambum was delayed for two years plus. It was a deliberate act to sit on the decision and delivered the judgement at end of February 2016. It was a corrupt and impaired judgement.

I don’t think for one bit the delays are in the best interest of justice with judgement date rolling into years. It raises lot of eye-brows and highly suspicious for the longevity of procrastination of judgement date. It is a calculated move in the delay and this is deprivation on the destitute who are seeking justice well-orchestrated by custodians of justice who are entrusted with the position of dispensation of justice.

Money being the common denominator in a cash driven society, anything is likely and people are entitled to form their opinion and surely money must have exchanged hands causing considerable delay in court judgments and to arrive at questionable decisions at a later date. 
It proves one point; judiciary is no longer a guarded institution of state. Overgrown corruption has found its way into the judiciary threatening the tenets of the mama law that holds the fabric of society together as a country. Peoples view on venerate judges is yet to be desired when it comes to dispensation of judgement in all fairness and truthfulness.

Particularly, members of Parliament, who find themselves on the other side of the law are doing everything it takes to lure the venerate judges to win their favour. They can’t get straight to the judges; however, easy bait is family members. It could mean, sons, daughters, spouse, in-laws, cousins, uncles, nephews, nieces, brothers, sisters, parents, church leaders, etc. Through the family connection, it is working perfectly well. To validate this point, when the election case between Lucas Neah and John Pundari came before his Honour Justice Ericko, Pundari offered money (unspecified amount) to Ericko’s son (who goes to school in Townsville) in Townsville through his (Pundari) son. When judge discovered that money has exchanged hands between his and Pindari’s son, Judge verbally testified in the courtroom, he won’t preside over the Kompiam-Ambum election petition case and he quitted handling the case.

Guess what, it’s a public knowledge that Chief Justice Salamoa Injia’s family are living in Townsville next to Pundari family. The respective wives have close bond and seen in public in pairs and other times with children. Can one imagine when families of politicians and members of the judiciary are living nearby and intimately close, guess what happens! Surely such intimate association undoubtedly impacts or influences the decision in the courtroom involving a Member of Parliament.

The next is a conundrum to work it out. Peter O’Neil, though controversial court cases are mounting on him and the severity of each cases can incriminate him and put him in incaseration for rest of his life, nevertheless, he is breathing a shy of relief without anxiety with mounting court cases and prevails as Prime Minister with jail terms hanging over his head because, Rimbink connection to CJ is harmoniously in perfect shape and PM can go to bed rest assured and need not to worry about pending court cases.

This is evident by major milestone projects earmarked for a little known sub-district of Wapenemanda called Tsak where CJ hails from. A road sealing from Mukurumanda turn-off to Tsak costing close to the vicinity of K20 million. Another commitment close to the same value by PM yet again for Tsak connecting Akom. Apart from the road sealing, a funding has been secured for hydro project to light up Tsak. Furthermore, Peter Ipatas is funding rural electrification project which is a duplication of electricity service to the same target population disadvantaging others. Peter Ipatas, Rimbink Pato and Peter O’Neil are competing to pump money into Tsak sponsoring milestone projects and don’t fathom the logic of majoring on minor little known tribal war torn sub-district Tsak in Wapenemanda electorate.

Can’t believe it is for real by any stretch of imagination impact projects are destined for Tsak, a lone sub-district! No one truly knows the primary notion of competing to deliver impact projects of immense value. Is it to do CJ a favour lighting up his home village so that in turn, CJ will look after them in their respective court battles? Don’t know the motive but the time will tell.
On earth, politicians, members of judiciary, bureaucrats or the commoners can evade judgement. In the finale, all will parade in the final universal judgement when all converged to give an account of individual deeds both in secrecy and in open. 
No secretive and bribes.