Justice Colin Makail errs (again)

By PNG Echo

CourtA three-man bench of the Supreme Court, earlier today, unanimously overturned a National Court decision by Justice Colin Makail to join police officers Gitua and Damaru to the judicial review of Chief Magistrate, Nerrie Eliakim’s decision to grant an arrest warrant against Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill.

Justices Kandakasi, Hartshorn and Kassman  found that Justice Makail was wrong and had fallen into error in granting Damaru and Gitua, as members of the police force, leave to act outside of their chain of command in joining them, independently, to the judicial review.

In their judgment they affirmed that:

The proper person to be a party to a judicial review proceeding on behalf of the Police Force …is the Police Commissioner.

And the Police Commissioner was already a party to these proceeding.

The bench were troubled by Mr Damaru’s admission that his and the interests of the Police Commissioner were different ”

because he wanted the arrest warrant executed but the Police Commissioner did not.

The learned judges gave their binding legal opinion that a police officer is not entitled to execute a warrant against the wishes of the Police Commissioner by way of a court proceeding.

Clearly, this bench of the Supreme Court would not entertain the courts being used in this manner by maverick police officers.

They went on:

Further, that a police officer wishes to execute an arrest warrant against the wishes or orders of the Police Commissioner raises issues as to why that Police Officer is of that view and believes he has such a particular interest in executing the warrant that he seeks court enforcement, against the position taken by the Police Commissioner.

I have a theory on that: could it be that their successes in the courts of Justice Colin Makail have led them into that error – that his errors have been instrumental in fostering the belief that the zealotry and insubordination of these officers is a reasoned response? The Supreme Court begs to differ.

Stay tuned: tomorrow, I will explore that theory further

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Supreme Court backs Prime Minister and rule of law. (How could Namah have got it so wrong?)

By PNG Echo.

I’ve been incommunicado on the other side of the world for some weeks, so yesterday (24 October 2014) with good internet connections temporarily restored, I was shocked to learn that tensions and conflict within the police service in PNG seems to have escalated.

Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki - court has stated and reinforced that he is the ultimate authority - save for the courts.
Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki – court has stated and reinforced that he is the ultimate authority – save for the courts.

Why should that be so when the Supreme Court on October 2 clarified the constitutional position confirming that the Commissioner of Police has ultimate authority and control of his men – and that the duty of a police officer was to obey the orders of superiors?

Well, seems some ‘rogue’ police officers have chosen to disregard the ruling of PNG’s highest court.

A dissident faction, led by Chief Inspector Damaru and Inspector Gitua, seem to have forgotten they are first and foremost police officers and have become righteous zealots, hell bent on carrying out an arrest warrant on the Prime Minister, notwithstanding that the courts have stayed the warrant and regardless of the fact that their superior officer, Commissioner Vaki is currently seeking a judicial review of that same warrant.

These police officers are not only disobeying a chain of command but they are also conveniently ignoring the judgments of the court while screaming from the hilltops about no one being above the law – except themselves, apparently! Continue reading Supreme Court backs Prime Minister and rule of law. (How could Namah have got it so wrong?)

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