THE REAL STORY BEHIND THE K200 MILLON COURT ORDER

by JACK WIRIPI

The recent outburst by the Attorney General has a lot to be desired coming from a Senior State Minister considered by many to be one of the last remaining upright and good leaders of this nation. However, it seems there is a lot more than what meets the eye. Our knight in shining Amour appears to be a devil of the highest order. A lot of information is intentionally concealed and withheld to deceive the general public and so the government of the day. And to what end, one may ask. Is this a ploy to remove a hardworking and honest woman who has been knocking out dubious claims from the minister and his cronies and may be, other personal reasons the Minister is not telling? We’ll soon find out. He may not be as honest just like the current crop of ministers in parliament. Ministers of the current government are frantically fighting for their own self-interests and he is no exception. If he was honest, he would have addressed some very high-profile corruption cases that have been before his office for a long time now and of true national importance. Paraka saga and co to name a few. This money as we will see is rightfully the peoples and the delays in settlement was not the Sol Gen fault. Off course not the K200 million as he purports and intentionally inflates to defame, but a fraction as we will see.
This judgment for the payout of royalties of K200 million stems from a Supreme Court decision passed in 2003 against the State. The Plaintiffs were aggrieved Gobe PDL land owners who claimed that royalty payments were not done properly. Royalty payments and not tax payer’s monies. A Creditors Screening Committee was therefore, set up comprising DPE officers and land owners to assess the claims for payout pursuant to the court order.

However, the Department of Petroleum and Energy wanted a proper audit conducted to ascertain and confirm payments already made and ones owing to the Plaintiff before outstanding payments were settled. This information was to be provided by the DPE and the Finance Department. Numerous court orders and decisions in 2014 demanded the provision of this information before payments were made but to no avail. This off course is not the Solicitor General’s fault. However, it now has become the cross on which she would be hanged. That is, for administrative failures by the Finance Department and the DPE. Nonetheless, the K200 million ordered by court to be paid is in fact money that rightfully belongs to the people, well 50% in actual fact. To be more precise, less then K50 million is royalty money owed by the state to the landowners and no court will prevent this as it is rightfully theirs.

Few facts to consider to shed some light. Before the Oil and Gas Act of 2002, the Land Owners were paid their royalties directly. After the passage of the said Act, all royalties were paid to MRDC as the custodians of the Landowners Interests in PDL areas.

Therefore, the judgment is first of all staged as MRDC has no jurisdiction over landowner claims going back past 2002 which it wrongly did in this court injunction. MRDC as the plaintiff should only seek claims from the year 2002 onwards. Instead, it went past 2002 and seeking relief for years as far as 1999, that is, beyond its time jurisdiction INFLATING the amount to the above figures. Is it a ploy to make some extra money for MRDC? In actual fact, there is less than K20 Million owing to the Land Owners as some payments were already made along the way. Has the court knowingly allowed this to happen? If so, this will give some leverage for the Solicitor General and her lawyers to ask for a review which will off course be heard this Wednesday as applications have already been made. Therefore, has the Solicitor General caused the State this unnecessary financial liability? Off course not as they could not do anything when the proper vetting agencies, DPE and the Finance department failed in their responsibilities in providing the information they would have acquired from audits to verify and ascertain the correct amounts owing to the land owners. They could not until off course a few days ago, after this purportedly outrageous failure news splash intentionally designed to defame a hardworking woman who has painstakingly made her way up the files and ranks over time to be where she is today.
Well was the AG briefed off this case from the start. Yes, he was from the very start and he as the AG would have had the courtesy to approach at his level to retrieve the information from the concerned departments to expedite the payments. In fact, isn’t it his job to bring it before NEC to ask his brother ministers to ask their secretaries to provide this very vital important information that is going to cost this nation another K50 million and not K200 million as purportedly made to appear? Is he innocent? I bet not as he is cleverly and intentionally rubbing mud on career public servants as politicians always do when they can’t get their hands on fast money, especially, when upright public servants could not go against their conscience to allow such. This is a clever ploy by a minister who is hell bent on getting his henchmen into strategic positions to enrich them as the future looks uncertain with the looming VONC. Like everyone else of his fold, he wants to get as much before anything happens so anyone who stands in the way must be kicked out. It appears the Sol Gen has been sitting on some of his and his henchmen’s claims just because they are dubious and wrong. In fact, it appears he is the real devil who’s been pretending all along. More will come as we uncover more rot. We the public have a right to this information and we will shed more light as this drama unfolds. We will provide information on his outstanding claims and that of his henchmen as we get more information.

Everyone is desperately looting MV PNG before the VONC and with accounts closing in 2 days, desperation has called in desperate measures. Sacking an innocent female who risen up in a male dominated society painstakingly for self-interest and something that is not her fault. Where is Gender Equality and justice, Mr. Justice Minister.

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