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June 22, 2021
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RPNGC top post under spotlight

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By Adelaide Sirox Kari – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Former Police Commissioner Gari Baki has announced that he will file a restraining order against the NEC appointment to ensure that the due process is followed in the appointment of the Police Commissioner and Deputy commissioners.
“I wish to inform the people of Papua New Guinea and the 8,000-plus members of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary that I will be applying to court for a restraining order against the National Executive Council on its decision on the afternoon of July 5, 2019, to appoint an acting Police Commissioner and two acting Deputy Police Commissioners replacing myself, Mr Raphael Huafolo and Mr Jim Andrews.”
Baki said the appointed Acting Commissioner, Mr Francis Tokura has an important role to play as the current chief of Bougainville Police services.
”The reason for my decision is because as far as the senior police leadership and I are concerned, due and established processes for appointments were not followed by Police Minister Bryan Kramer in the appointments of the Chief of Bougainville Police Service, Deputy Commissioner Francis Tokura as acting Commissioner of Police, Commander Northern, Assistant Commissioner Peter Guinness as Acting Deputy Commissioner Operations and Assistant Commissioner Joanne Clarkson as Acting Deputy Commissioner Administration.”
“The appointment of Mr Tokura goes against the spirit of that Bougainville Peace Agreement in that consultations were not held between the Government of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and the Commissioner of the Royal PNG Constabulary prior to the appointment. There are implications for the Bougainville Referendum. In that consultation process the Police Commissioner is required to write to the ABG informing them of Mr Tokura’s recall and nomination of a replacement. Mr Tokura will then have to be transferred out of the Bougainville Police Service back into the RPNGC. If after three months the government decides to appoint someone else then Mr Tokura will no longer have a job.”
He says, his actions are in no way intended to discredit the three officers who have been appointed in acting capacities.
“They are experienced and qualified police officers who are more than qualified to occupy these officers. This action is taken to protect them as well as the other senior officers of the Constabulary.”
He stated also that the two Deputy Commissioner’s Mr Raphael Huafolo and Mr Jim Andrew were well seasoned police with many more years to give to the constabulary and should have been considered for the top Post.
Baki argues that proper process was not followed and claims the Police Minister handpicked officer before getting NEC to make appointment.
“ I had issued a Police Gazette on Friday July 5, consistent with the Police Force Act (Chapter 65), announcing the vacancies in the two positions and called for applications from the serving Assistant Commissioners of Police.
Deadline for applications was 31st July. All applicants would then be screened by the Police Commissioner who then submits a shortlist of candidates to the National Executive Council through the Police Minister for its consideration and decision. Instead, the Police Minister and NEC decided to do selective appointments on the same day the Police Gazette was issued, thus bypassing this process. The Government decision has in fact created a vacuum in the leadership of the Constabulary.”
In response, Police Minister, Bryan Kramer, stated that the commissioner was misleading and he had been asked by NEC to submit names for the acting position while Public Service Commission carry out the process for the appointment of permanent positions.
Kramer saying Tokura’s posting would not affect the referendum but instead allow him to play an overseeing role.
The Police Minister is expected to hold a press conference tomorrow to respond to commissioners statement.

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