FORMER long serving Kumul coach Bob Bennett, 55, has weighed into the current turmoil involving the chairmanship of the Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League.
Speaking from Lae on Monday, Bennett, who was present during the Nov 28 annual general meeting as an observer, described the meeting as merely “a gathering of people” and could not be a proper meeting.
Therefore, he said it had no proper legal basis on which to conduct PNGRFL business.
“I don’t believe what happened in Lae was lawful in any way.
“Ivan Ravu (a PNGRFL board director) closed the meeting, and rightfully so, when he realised there wasn’t a quorum,” Bennett said.
According to the PNGRFL, under previous chairman Albert Veratau, none of the member affiliates present had met the requirements to qualify them to be part of the PNGRFL for the next year.
Therefore none of the member affiliates could be recognised.
Ravu told the gathering the AGM would be deferred to next month, presumably to allow members to get their affairs in order. But former PNGRFL board member Bryan Kramer, who chaired that meeting, responded that the new set of criteria given to member affiliates during the meeting was done without prior notice.
He added that it was irresponsible of the board to expect member affiliates to be able to comply on such short notice. Amongst other things affiliates were asked to pay their membership fees for 2010 in full, make known their plans and forward other documents.
Bennett however pointed out that he observed that after Ravu closed proceedings the meeting continued in an ad hoc fashion.
“Kramer took the seat up at the front but at no time did I hear that an AGM or election was in progress. No minutes were taken that I observed, there was no paper work and Gary Juffa was not even present.
“From my 35 years experience in the legal system I can honestly say that there was nothing lawful about it (the meeting) and I will not support it in anyway,” Bennett a former police officer reiterated.
Bennett went further challenging Kramer to come clean on his motives saying he (Kramer) had already given differing reasons for his actions over the past months.
“First he wanted to move a vote-of-no-confidence against Veratau and when that failed he claimed the PNGRFL board was operating as an illegal entity because it was formed with no quorum and now he says they’re basically insolvent.
“Which one is it?” he asked.
Former chairman Veratau has taken out a court injunction against the new PNGRFL board and served papers on its members. He is expected to make a formal announcement on his position today. Meanwhile, newly elected chairman Juffa is currently overseas and will return next week.