Ombudsman Commission: K3 Billion Loan Frozen

The Ombudsman Commission has issued directions to freeze moves on the K3 billion loan taken by the O’Neill-Dion Government to purchase a 10% stake in Oil Search Limited.

Chief Ombudsman Rigo Lua said the directions were issued on the 14th of March 2014 to ensure compliance with all relevant laws of the country in obtaining the loan.


The Ombudsman Commission called a press conference yesterday, on matters of the recent loan signed by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in his capacity as acting Treasury Minister.


The loan raised concerns among the public, political leaders and civil society.


The Commission has made their stance to serve the directions through their jurisdiction as a watchdog of the country.


Chief Ombudsman, Rigo Lua, said the investigation will be completed and called on public servants or any person to come forward with relevant information.


Mr Lua said the Commission is not asserting irregularities involved in the deal, or interfering with any development initiatives of the Government, but is seeking justification for the loan.


He added that the figure of the loan is hefty, and all information will be kept confidential until further notice.


Ombudsman Sangetari explained that anyone can challenge the directions, but the OC is ready to head the case.


The directions were issued to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, NEC members, Chief Secretary, Treasury and Finance Department, Attorney General, Governor of the Bank of PNG, Petromin Holdings, IPBC, Oil Search, UBS Nominees, and the Port Moresby Stock Exchange.


The Chief Ombudsman Lua said if responsible parties involved are found guilty, they will face a leadership tribunal.

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