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Papua New Guinea National Executive Council (NEC)appointed Police Commissioner Francis Tokura last night confirmed he was in the police headquarters in Konedobu, Port Moresby.
But when pressed on whether he was there as acting PC, Tokura responded: “I cannot comment on that matter as it is before the courts.”
Assistant Commissioner of Police Northern Command Peter Guinness, who was appointed as the acting DCP Operations told the Post-Courier that he was in no hurry to take up his post.
“As it is I would like to wait to see what happens in the coming days,” he said.
The sudden announcement of the standing down of Acting Police Commissioner Gari Baki last Friday, July 5, by Police Minister Bryan Kramer has left a vacuum in the leadership of the Constabulary.
Since the announcement via a short statement sent to the media, confusion has ensued with no one sure of who is heading the police.
Baki, who was retired because his contract had expired, has also reached the retirement age of 60, however, vowed to take the matter to court. “I will be applying to court for a restraining order against the National Executive Council on its decision on the afternoon of July 5, 2019, to appoint an acting Police Commissioner and two acting Deputy Police Commissioners replacing myself, Raphael Huafolo and Jim Andrews,” Baki had said.
The man appointed to be the acting Police Commissioner, Tokura, is currently the Chief of Bougainville Police.
When the Post-Courier managed to talk to Tokura last night, he was at police HQs where he had earlier met with various senior officers.
The highest ranked female in the Constabulary, ACP Joanne Clarkson, has also not come out publicly on her appointment as DCP administration.
Kramer maintains the recent acting appointments of the Commissioner and the DCPs followed due process.
“During the recent appointment discussions, Guinness’s age being 61 disqualified him from being appointed as Deputy Police Commissioner Operations. I have since discussed the issue with him and a new appointment is expected to be announced by mid this week.
“Unfortunately, there was no Commissioner as Baki retired on 07 May, 2019, while both Deputy Commissioners retired on 04 July, 2019, leaving three vacancies.
“So, to ensure stability I consulted a number of members of the force to identify three of the most qualified, neutral and respected members to be appointed in acting positions for just three months so that a proper assessment of each assistant commissioners for police may be afforded fair opportunity to apply for the substantive position,” he said.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
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