PM TELLS NAMAH: WE WILL NOT PROTECT CORRUPT INDIVIDUALS
Prime Minister, James Marape today assured Parliament that his government would not put lid on investigations of alleged corruption against individuals should there be sufficient evidence.
In a press statement, PM Marape said the Opposition Leader, Belden Namah has every right to ask questions in Parliament “for the good of our country.”
He said this in Parliament when answering Namah’s questions about alleged corruption within the forests industry.
PM Marape said it was unfortunate that Namah could not table his report in Parliament after it was not allowed to proceed by Deputy Speaker, Koni Iguan.
“However, right from up front, let me encourage the Opposition Leader that there are other avenues available for his questions to be tabled to,” he said.
“You can send a copy of the questions to me, the Deputy Speaker.
“If the allegations are serious and concrete, and evidence exists, we are not here in the business of protecting anyone or corrupt practices in our country.
“The inference on illegal activities in forests has been going on for many, many years.
“Forestry is a sector that continues to attract criticisms for corruption.
“There have been many forestry ministers before the current forests minister, or the previous forests minister.
“The sector is always susceptible to allegations of corruption.”
PM Marape welcomed Namah’s saying that he had allegations of corruption, “and if the evidence is concrete and solid, we are not here to hide anyone”.
“Competent process must have a handle on these allegations – competent process that is sanctioned by law in our country,” PM Marape said.
“Since 1975, many times, we have chosen not to walk this process; and we come to Parliament to make allegations.”
PM Marape said Police, Ombudsman Commission, Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) were there to probe into such allegations.
“If those allegations are correct, then those responsible for such corrupt practices in our country, will face the law and face the music, so to speak,” he said.
“I commend the Opposition Leader for raising these allegations of corruption in the forestry sector.”