Court orders PNGFA to pay man over K44,000 in royalties


A MAN from Finschhafen in Morobe is to receive more than K44,000 in royalty payments from the PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA) following a court order.
Senior principal Magistrate Jeremiah Singomat issued the order on Nov 7 to PNGFA to pay Sani Samang, of the Shung Lumeng clan of Suquang village, after  a lengthy court battle over a piece of land.
According to court documents, the land was awarded to the late Sanang Jazu in 1977 by the then local-land court magistrate, the late Richard Saranduo, during a hearing.
In 2006, local-land court magistrate Martin Ipang considered the orders of the local-land court in 1976 and awarded the land to Sanang after his father (Jazu) died but the decision was challenged by Geoffrey Key, who applied for a judicial review of the decision.
It was ruled in that proceeding that the Sung Lumeng clan was under the ownership of Jazu through his son Sanang.
Sanang revealed that PNGFA owed him more the K44,000 plus interest as royalty payments for the last 17 years.
According to police reports, the land dispute started in 2001 when a number of houses were burnt and properties damaged.
Morobe police commander Augustine Wampe told The National that the plaintiff in the dispute was arrested two weeks ago for alleged forgery and arson.
Police reports verified that the plaintiff was locked up but later granted bail and expected to be charged with forgery and arson.