Momis says Bougainville national MPs must improve performance
Don’t talk about ICAC, Peter, just front up to the courts

Justice delayed is a denial of the people’s rights

Busa Jeremiah WenogoBUSA JEREMIAH WENOGO

THE national court’s decision to throw out police commissioner Gari Baki's application to stay the arrest of Peter O'Neill has Papua New Guineans urging the commissioner and the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary to follow court order and execute the arrest warrant.

Unbelievably it has taken three years for the courts to finally make a ruling.

If Mr O'Neill through his lawyer makes an appeal to the supreme court let's hope a decision will made more swiftly than the national court.

In those three years we have had a general election (described by many people as the worst ever) with some key parties in the case contesting and one re-elected as prime minister.

In our justice system, accused people are considered innocent until their guilt is proven. But it is also said that justice delayed is justice denied and it has been certainly mightily delayed in this case. Has this been fair to the people of Papua New Guinea?

It makes one wonder whether the police commissioner may be undermining the independence of the office he holds by applying to stay the arrest of the prime minister. Surely the courts have made a ruling based on overwhelming evidence.

The conduct of the police commissioner ever since the arrest warrant was issued by the chief magistrate has compelled many Papua New Guineans to question his neutrality.

Is the police commissioner supposed to say "yes" to all directives issued to him by the prime minister, even when they relate to legal action involving the prime minister himself?

That is surely a conflict of interest.

It’s also worth asking whether the appointment of the police commissioner be done through a bipartisan committee as is the case with the appointment of the chief ombudsman.

These are questions that concern many Papua New Guineans given what has transpired under commissioner Gari Baki's leadership.

The prime minister, like all Papua New Guineans, needs to go through the proper process with no special favours. He must be seen to be taking the lead in adhering to due process, promoting good governance and preserving our democracy.

If he does otherwise or is treated otherwise and yet demands that the people adhere to the law he is setting a bad example and a bad precedent.

As a citizen of this country I am elated to have learned that Justice Makail made the decision based on the fact that the request to stay the warrant was an abuse of court process and that the prime minister is not above the law regardless of his social, economic and political status.

Certainly many Papua New Guineans are unhappy with leaders abusing privileges conferred on them by virtue of their titles and position, especially where this means a delay in dispensing justice.

Enough is enough. The people of this country want justice to prevail and they do not want it delayed.

The courts and the police commissioner must know that the whole nation is watching and it is in the best interests of Papua New Guinea that he carry out this most recent order expeditiously.

The judiciary has once again upheld the rule of law and democracy. Let’s hope that in doing so it has set a precedent for the future.

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Lindsay F Bond

What Busa holds for all to see and seek of national value is now, today, paramount for the people of PNG.

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