Kumul Petroleum Holding Limited has gone to the courts to restrain the Public Accounts Committee, who are inquiring into finding out how K5 Billion of the PNG LNG money after 500 shipments was distributed by KPHL.
KPHL filled the Restraining order on the same day (22th Oct 2019) the hearing for KPHL had been moved to November 5th by PAC.
The ex-parti restraining order filed by KPHL Managing Director, Wapu Sonk, through his lawyers, Dentons Lawyers, asking the courts to make declarations on whether KPHL is subject to the oversight by national parliament through PAC, Whether the chairman and PAC members lack legal standing in that PAC is not Properly constituted and the NEC decision subjecting KPHL to the PAC is invalid of no effect.
Justice Makail adjourned the hearing to the 29th October after learning the PAC hearing was adjourned to the 5th of November, pending that court documents were served to PAC.
Public Accounts Committee Chairman, Sir John Pundari, calling KPHL actions as an insult not only to the committee but to the people of PNG and confirming the PAC will challenge declarations in court.
“The committee welcomes the proceedings; however the committee is mindful of the effect that it would be another expensive exercise costing the people of money in legal bills to law firms who ultimately end up being the biggest winner. Nevertheless, the committee has resolved to defend this action.”
Sir John says it’s the people’s right to know what has been done with the K5 Billion paid in dividends to the state by PNG LNG, saying it is PNG biggest project that should of benefited everyone.
“We are appointed by the people’s house, to represent them, to bring to public scrutiny, what is in their right to know”
“This was the single biggest project that was supposed to transform the lives of our people and the PAC has a legal duty and we as Members of PAC have a moral duty to inquire and establish what has become of it. The Eight Million people of this country need to know whether the people monies are prudently manages Mr Wapu Sonk and KPHL.”
The PAC will be writing to the Prime Minister James Marape recommendations on the issue says Sir John.
“It is really insulting we are not happy, but we exercising matured responsible leadership to right to the Prime Minister who is also the chairman of the National Executive Council, who is the trustee of the Kumul Petroleum Holdings with all the powers of the shareholders invested in him act on certain recommendations”
Deputy Chairman of PAC, Garry Juffa questioned why KPHL was going to this extent to not release information of usage of Public Funds from the PNG LNG.
“An organization that is funded and paid for by the people, refuses to turn up and answer questions in regard to how the expand the peoples fund and then they take entity rightfully endorsed to scrutinize to court to prevent them from doing so is highly unusual.”
The recommendations to the Prime Minister was not disclosed by the committee until the Prime Minister responds.
EMTV News has reached out to KPHL but has not received a response at the time of this story going on air.
Adelaide Sirox Kari, EMTV News, Port Moresby