By YEHIURA HRIEHWAZI - freelance reporter
THE PNG Police Association last Wednesday lost its bid to claim title over a prime property in Port Moresby worth more than K2 million at its current valuation.
The property is a four-bedroom high covenant house on Section 25 Lot 8, at Diho Avenue off Angau Drive. It was occupied by suspended Police Association President Robert Ali for the six years until his eviction from it last year by Industrial Registrar Mrs Helen Saleu.
Deputy Chief Justice Salika Gibbs granted orders sought by former Yangoru-Saussia MP John Jaminan that Registrar of Titles continue to probe how the police union claimed ownership of his house, Jaminan is allowed to talk with the Registrar of Titles - something Jaminan was not allowed to do under an order taken out by Police Association.
The court also ordered the police union to pay all legal costs of Jaminan's lawyers which amounts to about K20,000, but this was expected to be a problem because the cheque book was controlled by Industrial Registrar Saleu who was not party to the court case pursued by union secretary Clement Kanau without her approval.
Affidavits filed by Jaminan's lawyers showed that the title of the house was fraudulently transferred to the police association. A lawyer from the same law firm claimed to represent Jaminan and the police association in the transaction. Jaminan strenuously denied having any dealings with the law firm.
On realizing the situation, Henao lawyers which the police association hired to take carriage of the matter withdrew from the case on Wednesday and Jaminan's lawyer son, Chris Jaminan who was in court, assisted his father's counsel and sought Justice Gibbs' orders for the titles registrar to continue investigations into how the union for title to the house.
In about 2002, Jaminan entered into an arrangement to sell it to the late Mr Patrick Kolta - an accounting consultant - for K500,000. Mr Jaminan claimed he was paid only K150,000 and to this day, he said he was still owed K350,000.
Mr Jaminan was also seeking outstanding rentals of more than K577,000 including interests on arrears and the outstanding payments of the house if the police association wished to keep it.
However the union insisted that the house belong to 2500 members of the Police Association of PNG and the Police Association Welfare fund had the "legal title" over the property and successfully sought a court order preventing Jaminan from having any dealings with the Lands Titles Registrar. That order was lifted on Wednesday.
"Police Association Welfare Fund members' monies were used to purchase the property and Kunjil No. 19 Limited purchased the property outright from Mr John Jaminan with full settlement of the sale on July 31st 2000," the association said last year.
It further ascertained that Henao Lawyers "did finalise the contract of sale and purchase of land agreement" on the same date and claimed that it has it its possession the documented account of events that led to the "legal and proper acquisition" of the property by the Police Association Welfare Fund.
However Mr Jaminan strenuously denied having any dealings whatsoever with Kunjil No. 19 Ltd nor any law firm including Henao Lawyers and totally denied signing any contract of sales agreement with anybody, not even the Police Association Welfare Fund.
"I only dealt with Mr Kolta ... him and him alone. Not anybody else, not even a lawyer and definitely not Henao Lawyers," a visibly agitated Mr Jaminan told this reporter last year.
"I just want my house back," said Mr Jaminan, now a private citizen.