By Kana Noka – FM100 News

Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL) has taken the Public Accounts Committee to court restraining the proceeding of the public inquiry hearing into KPHL.

On 22nd October 2019, the Dentons law firm under the instruction of KPHL’s Managing Director Wapu Sonk, had gone to court to seek an urgent restraining order against PAC.

On this same day KPHL was supposed to appear before PAC for its public hearing, however, KPHL wrote to PAC asking for an extension of its hearing date saying it needed more time to look into some legal processes.

PAC approved KPHL’s request and extended the new hearing date to 5th November 2019. This was the second extension given to KPHL after it also failed to appear for the first hearing.

However, immediately after PAC granted their second extension, KPHL went to court seeking the restraining order and served it to PAC on Wednesday 23rd October, 2019 not to go ahead with the public inquiry.

Justice Collin Makail enquired why KPHL’s application was an ex parte application and the reason for KPHL to seek this restraining order.

The court adjourned the matter to 29th October 2019 at 9:30am.

Meantime, PAC welcomes the proceedings and with the committee’s deliberations today, has resolved to defend this action in court.

The frustrated PAC members through their Chairman Sir John Pundari, says they fail to understand why KPHL would go to this extent to deny the people of PNG justice and the right to know where the proceeds of the PNG LNG project had gone to, after 500 plus shipments since 2014.

PAC members said they remain steadfast with people of PNG to know the details of where the revenues generated from the PNG LNG project have been expanded to.

PAC Deputy Chairman Gary Juffa labeled the action taken by KPHL as “unprecedented”, adding PAC is the legitimate public committee responsible to scrutinize public funds.

PAC says the actions by KPHL not only questions the integrity of the committee, but also defies NEC’s decision.

Hence PAC has also resolved to request for an intervention from the Prime Minister who is also the Chairman of NEC and the sole trustee shareholder in KPHL.


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