Kimave urges OC to probe Maipakai

Normal, Papua

FORMER Gulf Governor Riddler Kimave has called on the Ombudsman Commission to conduct an investigation into the use of memorandum of agreement (MoA) funds by Kikori MP Mark Maipakai.
The Kikori people, being pipeline area landowners, benefit from the Kutubu Oil project.
MoA funds are paid to landowners every year, through landowner associations, for development projects.
The landowners identify the projects and make submissions to the Government, and the Department of National Planning releases the funds to them.
Last year, Mr Maipakai, who is Minister for Labour and Industrial Relations, received a total of K24 million in MoA funds.
He got a K20 million payment first in the middle of the year, and another K4 million in last month.
Kikori landowners were surprised and upset that such a huge amount of money was paid to Mr Maipakai and his joint district budget planning and priorities committee (JDBPPC) to spend.
A group of landowners have launched a court action to recover the money.
This action is still pending in the National Court.
Mr Kimave said Minister Maipakai and his JDBPPC were not entitled to the money under the Oil and Gas Act and the Kutubu Oil Pipeline Agreement.
“This is a very serious matter and the Ombudsman must investigate this without delay.
“He has illegally and unlawfully obtained the funds, and must fully account for it.
“If there are projects undertaken from these monies, we’d like to know where the projects are in Kikori.
“Projects from the MoA funds should not be confused with those funded under the District Services Improvement Programme (DSIP) funds,” Mr Kimave said.
He said the Ombudsman Commission should demand that there was a fine line separating the use of MoA funds in Kikori and the DSIP for the electorate, which was around K10 million.