By Thomas Eluh
I was suspended as Assistant Commissioner Crimes by Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Jim Andrews last night. The suspension notice was delivered to me by Chief Superintendent Jerry Frank.
I was suspended despite an order by the National Court directing that the status quo remains, in that Acting Police Commissioner, Geoffrey Vaki, should not in any way interfere with myself or my team of investigators looking into the Paul Paraka case looking into the Paul Paraka case until the matter comes before Justice Ere Kariko on Tuesday June 25.
My suspension is contemptuous and a blatant breach of the police/court process. This is a sad day for the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary and the country as a whole. In my view the Constabulary has been sold to the dogs.
I will be challenging my suspension in court on Monday as I have strong reason to believe that this move is a direct attempt to pervert the course of justice. I am the lead investigator in the case involving the illegal payment of K71 million to Paul Paraka Lawyers. I delivered the letter personally to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill inviting him to come to the National Fraud & Anti Corruption office for the interview.
I am reliably informed that moves are underfoot to replace me with one of their own nominee, a Provincial Police Commander from the Highlands. There are capable senior officers within with the rank of Chief Superintendent who can take over from me. People who are behind this move are none other than those who are implicated in the Paul Paraka case.
I suspect strongly other investigators will be suspended as well including the Director of the National Fraud & Anti Corruption Directorate Chief Superintendent Mathew Damaru who arrested Acting Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki for perverting the course of justice. These people are determined and they will stop at nothing.
As a career police officer I am shocked by the actions of Prime Minister who by his opposition and refusal to come in for the interview has shown that he holds our laws, our courts and state institutions such as police in contempt. Does our Prime Minister even realize the wider implications of his actions? He has set the precedent whereby other citizens will loose respect of and for our law enforcement agencies and the justice system.
I am stunned that our elected national leaders are not saying and doing anything but instead are supporting a man who does not want to be answerable to the laws of Papua New Guinea.
And I am also shocked by the actions of my colleague policemen and women who it appears are blindly doing everything they can to prevent Peter O’Neill from being interviewed by police. Please take a good look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you are doing the right thing because the refusal by the PM to come in for the interview defeats the very purpose for which you are wearing that uniform. Shame on you for doing nothing. And may God have mercy on those who have compromised themselves for a few thousand kina.
Although this may be taken as a small case, our country’s future is at stake here. I have a family. I have children and grandchildren. But I also have a job to do. I took on the responsibility believing that common sense will prevail and that everyone, regardless of social standing will respect the rule of law and justice system. I thought my colleagues will do what is right by the law and by their conscience. But it appears I was wrong.
I have been getting text messages and calls from people from across the country showing their support for me. Christians are praying for us as well. I want to thank everyone for your support and prayers. Rest assured that my suspension is not the end. In fact it has made me even more stronger and determined to fight on.
Lastly, fighting crime and corruption is not just police business but everyone’s. The time has now come for all of us to stand together to fight this monster and put it to rest for the benefit of all our children and future generations. I appeal to all men, women and children to join hands with the police and concerned citizens to act now. I understand that a public protest is being planned on Tuesday. I would rather appeal for peaceful and responsible ways to get the message across and that is for all citizens across Papua New Guinea to stay in-doors on Monday June 23. Simply do nothing. Do not go to work. Do not go to school. Do not do business. Stay at home to show the Prime Minister and his government that you do not support what he is doing and that you want him to come to the National Fraud and Anti Corruption office to be interviewed. No man is above the law. The interest of the 7.2 million people of Papua New Guinea hangs in the balance.
Assistant Commissioner of Police – Under suspension
Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary
(Ph. No. 72010067)