A SUPREME COURT ORDERED EVICTION AT MORATA NEW BLOCK, NCD

by MANUEL PETER

An eviction notice served on the 26th of February, 2020 by the Supreme Court ordered evacuation within 30 days. Morata New Block is located along Gerehu back road, portion 2733, University Morata. The portion of the land is estimated about 6-7 hectares with more than 10,000 population including block holders and occupants. That part of the land has recently developed by the block holders with great investment and assets pertained quality buildings (rental homes, guest houses, private duplex, churches). The Urban Development Lease (UDL) of that portion of the land has been illegally obtained by an investor named Sixth Estate Limited which has been brought to court since 2011.

The leaders of the Morata New Block said they have been fighting in a court battle for the last 10 years since 2011. They explained the court proceedings and decisions in front of the settlers addressing what had happened until receiving an eviction order last month. Most of the residence are there for decades and developed the land. They aggressively argued Morata has been considered a no-go-zone with increased criminal activities and killings even thieves and rapists had lived as their breeding ground.

In 2011 the developer got UDL from the Lands Department. The UDL terms and conditions implies that land must be developed within 5 years in footings of section allotments, water and electricity, road and or sewerage. After fully complying UDL terms and condition, Physical planning must get reports from Works Department, PNG Power, Eda Ranu, compiled and surrender the UDL to the Lands Department in order to be certified state leases. However, without complying with UDL terms and conditions, the Lands Department Fraudulently awarded the investor the 99-year state leases in 2012 after one year.

Legally, the investor should meet the requirement and follow the process to qualify for state leases with the UDL terms and conditions in the Lands Department, instead the developer brought the matter to the court unjustifiably and got an eviction order in 2013 with 2 titles where the UDL guaranteed eviction order while the 99-year permanent leases was unknown. Leaders said they appealed and fought in court battles till 2016 where they failed in supreme court and UDL expired after 5 years coincidentally. Since the UDL expired and block holders failed in court, the land goes back to the state.

Again unknowingly, the investor being served in the District Court using an expired UDL and got an ejectment order in October, 2016. According to the Ejectment Act says that any party with current UDL title would qualify to produce orders so expired UDL would be unwarranted to give orders. By then the appellant appealed through the National Court because the legal processes and requirements were forgone. In the National Court, lawyers and the defendant been hijacked legal requirements and acted falsely profiling on state leases as part of appeal book filed as a national court affidavit. Finally, the National Judge made the decisions and found out that 99-year state leases in the appeal book as permanent titles, so again the case has been dismissed in the National Court, now the Plaintiff and appellant has to appeal through the Supreme Court.

The Plaintiff through the lawyer arguably presented their case in the Supreme Court that state leases have never produced in the District Court at the time of the eviction order in 2013, the only document presented was the UDL which has expired together with unqualified state leases. That UDL doesn’t have legal standing orders or power to verdict the order to evict the civil residence and legitimate citizens of PNG. Now the questions raised by the leaders with Lands Department are;

I. The state entity has the clear legally obtained title to evict the residence at Morata New Block?
II. Has the investor met all the UDL terms and conditions when awarded State Leases?
III. Did the Physical Planning receive reports from Works Department, PNG Power and certified on leases?
IV. Did the courts affidavit and documents are legally filed?

The residence and their leaders aggressively recited the following key concerns to the attention of Prime Minister Hon James Marape, Lands and Physical Planning Minister Hon John Rosso, Governor of NCD Hon Powes Parkop, Hon Sir Mekere Morauta Moresby North West Electorate. These include;
The government must engage an investigation team into Lands Department and relevant authorities as soon as possible before eviction notice due
We will value our assets and properties so the government can pay us compensation for an expected million-kina loss attempted through the eviction notice dated 26th February, 2020. If the government reluctant to comply with it and considered the residence as illegal settlers squatted in the country. The population of more than 10,000 citizens have fully agreed to, “SEEK REFUGE IN ANOTHER FOREIGN LAND”. They grieved utterly and frustrated to leave this nation when rejecting legitimate citizens and harboring foreigners to survive in this land.
The final appeal to the authorities and the Lands Department to give back all the titles to the affected land group and block holders of New Block Morata portion 2733

The affected leaders added that, the land has millions worth properties, students attending schools, elites residing there, public servants, university students, church buildings, business organizations and assets which can’t be left so easily for destructions.

Government should know that living standards is very expensive within vicinities of the city which lower income earners or middle class people could not afford to pay bills in terms of rentals and easy pays, but managed to survive in settlement like Morata New Block with average cost of living. It happens that they will never ever get back to our provinces because there is no road links, no electricity, no water supply, no bridges and importantly our kids will never attend schools. A sad moment for our lives, our properties and our kid’s future.

Therefore, these issues raised by the affected land ground of portion 2733 speaks urgent attention by the relevant authorities especially the NCDC Governor and the Minister concerned within the 30 day period of the attempted eviction notice.

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