AS unconfirmed rumours race around Papua New Guinea that prime minister Peter O’Neill has abolished the corruption busting Task Force Sweep, the head of the group, Sam Koim, has decided to remain in Port Moresby instead of departing for a conference in Australia.
Meanwhile, the appointment of new police commissioner Geoffrey Vaki (pictured) has drawn criticism from sections of the Royal PNG Constabulary who have claimed that he is too close to the government.
There was high level drama in the National Court this morning when two lawyers sought to appear for the RPNGC – its own lawyer, Superintendent Nicholas Miviri, and a new counsel, Paul Mawa.
Mr Mawa had been appointed last night by Commissioner Vaki and the new Attorney General, Ano Pala.
Justice Ere Kariko ruled that Mr Mawa was the rightful lawyer and granted his submission not to oppose Mr O’Neill’s application to stay a warrant for his arrest until next Tuesday.
Thus having retrieved some additional time to extract a political rather than a judicial solution to allegations of corrupt behaviour, the prime minister can be expected to soon announce further steps to resolve the current crisis.
The mood in PNG's social media is that any such steps are likely to further centralise authority in the prime minister’s office, diluting the authority of parliament as well as police and other authorities.
Radio New Zealand International is currently reporting that senior police are seeking to arrest Mr Vaki for allegedly 'perverting the course of justice'.