“are we going to allow our country to be thrown into a state of lawlessness by one man’s stubbornness?” Thomas Eluh

To use a rugby league analogy, my suspension can be likened to that of a half-back being sin-binned by his own captain in the crucial stages of the game. This is rather unheard of in the history of rugby league and especially in the 126 year history of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary.

Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki can talk and try to justify himself till the sun freezes over but he cannot fool the people of Papua New Guinea. He is now being seen as a puppet conveniently appointed to prevent Prime Minister Peter O’Neill from submitting himself to the rule of law.

VakiHow can Vaki ask us to give him the benefit of doubt when prior to officially taking office and without receiving any briefing from myself and my investigators he issued instructions to consent to retraining orders being sought by the Prime Minister’s lawyer against police from arresting the Prime Minister?

How can he expect us to trust him now that he has applied to the District Court to set aside the warrant of arrest on the Prime Minister? I don’t know who is advising him but this is a total abuse of process. The National Court made it clear that the Warrant of Arrest is in order. The National Court did not find officers involved in the investigation as rogue police officers, nor did it find one shred of evidence that the investigation was politically motivated. How then can you go to a lower court to overturn something that the higher court has recognised?

These are actions of a man who not only is irrational but one whose sense of balance, justice and fairness is now highly questionable. These are actions of a man who has compromised everything that he stood for.

Please let me inform the people of Papua New Guinea that this is not about my ambition for position and power. If either myself, former Commissioner Sir Toami Kulunga or former Deputy Police Commissioner Simon Kauba were hungry for power and position one of us would be Commissioner and the Prime Minister would not have been invited in for the interview. We invited the Prime Minister to come in for the interview and we lost our jobs.

As I have mentioned, this is not the time and place to argue our case. We are honest, committed career professional law enforcement officers and our actions will be justified and vindicated in a court of law, not in the media or over the internet.

Everyone must realise that this is no longer a case of the Prime Minister being guilty or innocent. It is not about being right or wrong. That is for the court to say. This is about whether Prime Minister O’Neill, the Chief Executive Officer of Papua New Guinea respects the laws of our country and more importantly, whether he will subject himself to the same law, regardless of how high and mighty he thinks he is.

The world is watching with grave concern. And as the prime minister himself so correctly stated, this is denting investor confidence. But not for the reasons he stated. And contrary to what he has stated, there is no political crisis. The issue here is simple and that is one man manipulating the government as well as the instruments of state, especially police to not subject himself to the law and due process. The Prime Minister has not understood the serious implications for PNG by his refusal to submit himself to the law. The message he is sending to foreign investors and citizens alike is that there is no rule of law and that their investment and lives are not safe.

I am not sensationalising matters here when I say that the country’s future as an independent functioning democracy hangs in the balance because of one man’s refusal to submit himself to the rule of law.

There is a saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Absolute power also makes people arrogant and blind to the implications of their actions and inaction’s. What is stopping O’Neill, the elected members of parliament, Vaki and the policemen supporting him from seeing what the real issue is and what the implications are for PNG as a nation?

As I have said in a previous statement, the police service has gone to the dogs. Where are the commissioned officers? Where is the police union? Is there anyone else out there who has the courage and the heart to do what is right for the country or are we going to allow our country to be thrown into a state of lawlessness by one man’s stubbornness?

I stand committed in my fight, not for wealth or position, nor for power but for the rule of law to stand supreme because it is upon this that PNG exists and through this that we enjoy our peace, freedom and well-being.

Thomas Eluh

Assistant Commissioner Police – Suspended

Ph. No. 72010067