Motukea inquiry adjourned


THE Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the sale and purchase of the Motukea wharf in Port Moresby has been further adjourned because witnesses including Prime Minister James Marape are currently engaged with the 2022 general election.
Counsel assisting the COI Gibson Geroro made this known to COI chairman and commissioner Sike Julian Toulik in Port Moresby yesterday.
“Prime Minister James Marape, Finance Minister Sir John Pundari and Lands Minister John Rosso are all sitting members of Parliament who are currently engaged in the general election, and are unavailable this morning (yesterday) to be examined on matters relating to the inquiry,” he said.
On the issue of legal representation for former Curtain Brothers general manager Justin McGann, Geroro said: “We have received correspondence yesterday (Monday) from a law firm who acts for Curtain Brothers and Ballimore No.29 Limited confirming that they don’t have instructions to receive summons on behalf of McGann but they are in the process of confirming that and will let us know in due course.”
The COI heard on Thursday that counsels assisting the COI were not able to serve summons to some persons of interest such as McGann as they resided outside of PNG.
Geroro then asked for summons issued to Marape, Sir John, Rosso and others to be extended to next Tuesday.
Toulik granted the request for an extension and said the reasons given by Geroro were unavoidable and reasonable.
The COI is expected to sit tomorrow to preside over summons issued to other witnesses.
The National reported earlier that in 2019, the Marepe-led Government froze the contract with Curtain Brothers, pending a proper investigation into the sale and purchase of Motukea.
The Government also sanctioned an investigation into the purchase of the Motukea Port by the Peter O’Neill-led government.
In 2014, the government signed a purchase agreement to relocate Port Moresby’s main wharf to Motukea.