Former Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia has been appointed to head the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the UBS Loan Transaction, while former Chairman of the Taskforce Sweep Sam Koim appointed as the Counsel Assisting the COI.
The K4 million Inquiry is given a three month time frame to complete its findings.
PM Minister James Marape while making the announcement today expressed his confidence in Sir Salamo Injia and believes he is able to deliver unbiased report from the COI.
“Sir Salamo Injia’s appointment has been made after wider consultations, and I am confident that he will undertake the Inquiry into this sensitive Loan Transaction with care and in accordance with the prescribed Terms of Reference (TORs)”
The Prime Minister has decided that Sir Injia will select candidates for appointment for the other technical positions required for the successful conclusion of the inquiry.
“The government wants to deal with this matter as soon as possible and to maintain the integrity of the inquiry, the selection of candidates to assist Sir Injia will be done by him and upon his advice I will make those respective appointments by instruments in due course”
“As I have promised to the people, we need to have answers to how and why this UBS Loan was obtained, whether it was done properly in compliance of our country’s Laws? Who are the principal players? And what benefit did the country gain from this Loan?”
He said the COI will have absolute authority under the COI Act to summon everyone from Government officials to companies including Oil Search Limited, UBS IPIC and advisers to provide response to the inquiry.
“Once the inquiry is completed, it’s report and findings will be tabled in parliament and when it is adopted, it will be referred to the relevant Government Agencies to take appropriate actions accordingly”
Marape said he has acted in his capacity as the former Finance Minister in accordance with Laws and NEC Directive and he will fully cooperate with the Ombudsman Commission and the COI as and when required to.
Meanwhile a lot of Papua New Guineans expressed their disappoint menton social media on the appointment of Sir Salamo Injia as the Commissioner of COI.
The Prime Minister said he has no control over opinions coming from different people, however he has called on the public to come forward with evidence of any corrupt practice including the UBS Loan to assist the COI.
“Let’s allow Sir Injia to do his job as far as the COI is concerned and if any Papua New Guinean has an issue with his appointment, I can assure you that I will bring the report to public light and I will not hide anything”
Marape said his name has also been mentioned during the initial process of the UBS investigation and he would like to see that everything and everyone involved in the Loan must be exposed.
“I am not somebody else’s proxy, I am not somebody else’s decoy, I am the Prime Minister of this country and UBS is also in my interest as my name has also been blared in the process of the UBS”