Home > Corruption, Land, Papua New Guinea > Has PM O’Neill appointed a fraudster to investigate the alleged Duma Fraud?

Has PM O’Neill appointed a fraudster to investigate the alleged Duma Fraud?

February 4, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments

Chief Sec Issac Lupari was condemned by the Commission of Inquiry into the Department of Finance for being the mastermind of a multimillion dollar fraud

This week we were reminded why PNG needs an impartial, independent and well-resourced corruption fighting force – as Minister William Duma attempted to deflect attention from evidence pointing to his involvement in two major land grabs, worth tens, if not, hundreds of millions.

Prime Minister O’Neill assures us, the matter will be thoroughly investigated by Police Commissioner, Gary Baki – a close ally of the PM – and wait for it, his Chief Secretary Issac Lupari.

We can reveal that the Chief Secretary Issac Lupari was condemned by the Commission of Inquiry into the Department of Finance for being the mastermind of a multimillion dollar fraud.

The Commission of Inquiry observed:

‘Mr. Issaac Lupari sued the State for breach of four separate contracts that were entered into as Secretary for the Departments of Finance, Defence, DPM and Transport in that order. He claimed that he had been unlawfully terminated from all those positions after serving short stints in each and claimed the balance of all pay and entitlements for the unexpired period of all four contracts’.

The Commission observes:

‘It will be clear from the evidence gathered so far that Mr. Lupari never suffered any loss of pay and entitlements, and was adequately remunerated by the State for the whole time that he claimed for and beyond’.

In summary the Commission of Inquiry found:

  • In 1997 Lupari was appointed Finance Secretary by Prime Minister Bill Skate, the mentor to our current PM, Mr O’Neill.
  • On 15 January 1998 he was sacked by the Skate government, but as fortune has it, the very same day he got the job of Defense Secretary.
  • On 17 March 2000 he was made Secretary for the Department of Personnel Management by the Morauta government, with a contracted end date of 29th of June 2000.
  • On the day his contract ended, Lupari was made Transport Secretary.
  • Nevertheless, Lupari claimed he was unlawfully dismissed as Secretary for the Department of Personnel Management.
  • His legal team was … Paul Paraka lawyers.
  • The Attorney General and Solicitor General settled the claim for a cool K1 million, which was paid by the Department of Finance on the 17 September 2004 by cheque No. 790468.
  • A further K2.7 million in settlements were agreed with Lupari, after he claimed he was also dismissed as Transport, Finance and Defense Secretary– the Commission was unable to find evidence of whether this money was paid.

The Commission concluded:

‘Mr. Isaac Lupari knew full well that his claims amounted to triple and quadruple dipping. Yet he went ahead and instructed his lawyers to file claims against the State in the National Court’.

‘Mr. Lupari was not entitled to the K3,703,461.31, either legally or morally. Paul Paraka lawyers engaged in deceptive conduct when filing Writs in the order they did’.

‘Paul Paraka Lawyers did not submit quantum submissions. Purported quantum submissions later produced to the Commission were fabricated after the Col summoned same from Mr. Guguna Garo of Paul Paraka Lawyers’.

‘Paul Paraka lawyers were paid K200,000.00 for each matter totaling K800,000 for doing a minimal amount of work. That work consisted only of drafting the four Writs of Summons. There were no appearances in Court and no protracted negotiations before agreement was reached to settle the four matters out of Court’.

Read the Commission report on Issac Lupari  (220KB)

So this is the honourable fellow who will now investigate the Duma allegations. The people of PNG will be forgiven for not holding much confidence in the process.

Which serves as a timely reminder, what happened to the Interim Office for Anti-Corruption which was to be headed by Judge Graham Ellis?

O’Neill disposed of Taskforce Sweep, and then aborted its replacement, seemingly in the dead of night when no one was looking.

If Lupari is now the moral barometer of anti-corruption investigations in PNG, god save us all.

Its time for O’Neill to implement the ICAC he promised, so an independent judicial authority, can scrutinize corruption.

  1. February 4, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    I commend you PngExposedBlog for bringing out this very important piece of news. I truly wish Transparency International or other such bodies will run with this report, and make an issue of it in the social conscience of right-thinking people of this country.

    No-one should be surprised if such ‘investigation’ goes into hiding and we will hear no more it or its findings. Or if we go past this stage and there is a report, such report may consist of half-truths and lame-duck statements that will be worthless as far as holding criminals responsible goes. Or if we go past this stage, political leaders or corruption-fighting entities will come up any number of reasons NOT to action any recommendations in this report.

    It is a losing battle.

    We need morally strong leaders who will without fear or favor FIGHT against corruption if this country is to have any hope of recovering from this disease.

  2. W.self
    February 4, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Set a thief to catch a thief…..

  3. Graham Ellis SC
    February 4, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    For the record: I remain willing to serve the people of PNG. However, since the order that prevented the Interim Anti-Corruption Office from doing its assigned tasks (taking over the files from Task Force Sweep and preparing for the Independent Commission Against Corruption) I have not been contacted by anyone on behalf of the PNG government. I only say this so that it is clear that I am not the reason for no progress in the fight against corruption in PNG.

    Graham, Ellis SC
    Former judge
    4 February 2017

  4. Francis Lesa
    February 5, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Shame, shame, shame. The new Government should sack the guy. This is nothing more that selfishness and greed. I dont know if the guy has any moral sense. This is stealing from the people of Papua New Guinea.

    For God sake, dont pretend to be a good guy.

  5. W.self
    February 6, 2017 at 7:21 am

    He has never pretended to be that!

  1. February 5, 2017 at 9:53 am
  2. February 6, 2017 at 9:24 am
  3. March 8, 2017 at 11:17 pm

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