By JACOB POK
LIHIR Mining Area Landowners Association (LMALA) recently obtained interim injunctive orders against NIKAP Block Owners Association and others, stopping them from dealing with Lihir Gold Mine Ltd and other entities pending a hearing of the matter in the National Court.
LMALA, a landowner company incorporated in 1990, took legal action against executives of NIKAP claiming that NIKAP was only a splinter association only formed last July by a minority of Lihir and non-Lihirians to destabilise and cause disharmony amongst Lihir landowners.
Chairman of LMALA, Mark Soipang claimed that he only became aware of NIKAP’s existence mid last year after its incorporation.
He claimed that his lawyers from Kuman Lawyers advised him that the registrar of companies, the first defendant, incorporated NIKAP without complying with the provisions of the Associations Incorporated Act chapter 142.
He added that the registrar failed to advertise the notice of intention to apply for the incorporation of the association as required under section 2 of the act.
But NIKAP alleged that LMALA was dissolved in a special meeting last October after Mr Soipang failed to turn up and present LMALA’s audited financial reports and the minutes of its annual general meetings for the past 14 years.
As a result, a resolution was passed to appoint an interim executive officer as caretaker and an independent audit team to audit all LMALA’s financial reports.
While this was in progress, Lihir Gold Ltd the State, the New Ireland provincial government and Mineral Resources Authority established that LMALA was the only legitimate association.