Church, district back Piu’s claim to Wafi-Golpu land


PIU Land Group Inc says it is the rightful landowner of the Wafi-Golpu mine land and not the Yanta, Hengambu and Babuaf groups.
This is supported by Evangelical Lutheran Church Head Bishop Rev Jack Urame and Jabem district president Rev Yasam Aiwara.
Urame and Aiwara, in letters to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill on Jan 10 and 14, supported Piu’s claim to the land.
“Based on facts and figures examined, and confirming letter from ELC lands’ officer in 2002 and all other relevant documents sighted, confirms the ownership,” Urame said.
Yasam said Piu land group had fulfilled all the customary law requirements and registration under the Land Act and was granted a lease under the rule of ‘lease-lease back’ when the Government failed to issue them legal ownership over the land.
Chairman Martin Tapei, who has been in and out of court since the 1990s, says it had the title to the mine land 22 years ago – long before the Yanta, Hengambu and Babuaf groups.
Its incorporated land group (ILG) certificate covers 50,000 hectares of Portion 8C, Milinch Wasus and Fourmil of Markham, that nestles the Wafi-Golpu project.
Piu Land Group, located in the interior of Mumeng and Lower Watut, acquired ILG File No 1882 on Feb 8, 1996, covering 50,000 hectares in Portion 8C.
“It will be difficult for Yanta and Hengambu to acquire the ILG over the same land portion when Piu already has the ILG over it 22 years ago,” Tapei said.
“The ILG was renewed on March 15, 2017, and the Registrar of ILGs Judah Suka published the intention in the newspaper of March 21, 2017, for 30-day grace period.
“Yanta, Hengambu or Babuaf never objected and it was gazetted in the National Gazette.”