Monday, September 29, 2014

K50 million claim By Opposition Leader - Chief Ombudsman not interested in investigating

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill   has raised concerns that the Ombudsman Commission will not investigate claims made by Opposition Leader Belden Namah that he spent K50 million on Members of Parliament in the 2012 election.
’Neill said Mr Namah himself had made the multimillion kina claim and it raises serious concerns that should be properly scrutinised. 
However, the Ombudsman Commission has responded by suggesting the matter should be considered by the Registrar of Political Parties and Candidates Commission.
In his correspondence with the Chief Ombudsman, the Prime Minister stated that the failure of the Ombudsman Commission to inquire into this claim “casts light on the fundamental question of fairness and impartiality on the part of the Commission.”
“This matter is the subject of great public interest, which warrants Ombudsman Commission investigation under the Leadership Code.
“The Ombudsman Commission should not simply ignore the public complaint, which has been lodged and refer it to another Authority for investigation.
Speaking after more recent correspondence from the Chief Ombudsman, the Prime Minister said he remains concerned at the lack of interest on the part of the Ombudsman Commission.
“The people of Papua New Guinea have legitimate questions that they would like answered,” PM O’Neill said.
“Where did Mr Namah get this K50 million?  He was not a successful businessman before he went into politics.
“Has he declared this K50 million and paid tax on it?
“Adherence to transparency is a responsibility of all holders of public office and this admission of questionable activity by the Leader of the Opposition needs to be fully investigated without fear or favour.”

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