Henao Hired To Challenge State Against UBS Loan

Prominent Constitutional Lawyer Loani Henao has been hired by sacked treasurer Don Polye to challenge the state against the unconstitutionality of the Australian UBS Loan.

The two main orders being sought include the actions of Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill and the National Executive Council for approving the K3 billion UBS Loan, and that there was no parliamentary approval.


The application was filed against the state, Oil search and the Australian UBS bank on the 19th of this month.


Constitutional Lawyer Loani Henao knows the constitution back to front; he was instrumental in winning the Organic law on Political Parties case with then Western Province Governor, Bob Danaya.


Now, he is on a mission to prove that the Government of Papua New Guinea, acted in haste, when it signed the K3 billion UBS Loan.


At this media conference, he is speaking on behalf of his client sacked treasurer Don Polye who was unable to attend.


He said the working of the sovereign wealth fund is an area of concern especially with the first flow of the revenue expected in the near future. It’s feared if no proper mechanisms are in place, it exposes the government to possible mal practices and misappropriation of funds.


Section 13 of the organic law on the sovereign wealth fund 2012, directs all PNG LNG dividends, to be paid into the development fund. While section 2(11) of the loans overseas Borrowings Act 1976, prescribes that all payments of principal and interest, and other charges payable under a loan agreement, shall be made out of the consolidated revenue fund.


Those being served by Mr. Polye include the state, Oil search for the 10.01 percent shareholding by the government and Australian UBS Bank.


Mr. Henao was asked what would happen in the event he won the case, against the fact that the loan agreement was already signed, this is what he had to say.


Constitutional lawyer, Loani Henao, is confident of a successful case against the state, Oil Search and the UBS Bank, but the question is how soon, will the proceedings be completed especially when there are backlogs of cases yet to be addressed at the Supreme Court.

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