Saturday, November 23, 2013

Probe into 5-Mile land



 Attorney General Kerenga Kua says a full investigation will be carried out into the controversial piece of land at 5-Mile in Port Moresby and the company that bought the land.

He said this on Thursday when commenting on the piece of land at Jack Pidik Park that was originally transferred to Post and Telecommunications, but has now been sold to private company PNG Lands.

"The issue of the lands transaction at Boroko has taken up a lot of parliamentary time in debate," he told reporters.

"A lot of leaders have expressed their concern at the manner in which land which has been reserved for public use has somehow ended up in the hands of private enterprise.

"Allowing private enterprises on to land is not a bad thing, it is a good thing that underpins the development of our economy and our social welfare if done in the right way, the right context, the right place at the right time, with the right property.

"But for this particular transaction, unfortunately, it has attracted a lot of very negative criticism,

"In the debates which ensued in parliament, it has become apparent that there may have been some improper conduct when that particular transaction took place."

Kua said he had been instructed by Lands Minister Benny Allan to do a legal audit on compliance issues regarding the transaction of that particular land.

"I have accepted the instructions from the Minister for Lands to have my legal team within the department reexamine every legal step taken to transfer ownership," he said.

"If we find that there is a non-compliance with it, a particular required step, then we will be filing for proceedings for orders to nullify the transfer and registration of that title under the name of a third party.

"Already, based on the information that's available through the debates and discussions through the media, I feel that there is a case already built up that warrants a serious examination and possible filing of legal proceedings.

"I will be taking the matter up to cabinet, and with the support of cabinet, we expect to have this investigated fully from a legal perspective.

"Land transactions are all regulated by law in this country, in particular the Land Act and Land Registration Act, and in the case of Telikom, it's got its own legislations to follow like the Telecommunications Act.

"Because it's a state-owned enterprise, it's also subject to the IPBC Act.

"We will be reviewing all these legislations to make sure that all the prerequisites required for a land transaction, being an asset of a state-owned enterprise, are followed.

"If we find a case of a breach and there is a case to be made, we will take it up to court with the view to protecting what belongs to the public."

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