PNG Chief Justice steps down from official duties

Sir Gibbs Salika

Papua New Guinea Justice Minister and Attorney, General Pila Niningi has announced that PNG Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika has stepped down from official duties for an indefinite period, as of Wednesday October 5, 2022. 

Minister Niningi says that this was done to protect the integrity of the office of the Chief Justice, following the arrest of his daughter, and a tribunal hearing into a Member of Parliament. 

He said that Gloria Salika a lawyer by profession was arrested and charged in connection with 83 counts of fraud-related charges, allegedly involving Non-Community Mine Continuation Agreement or CMCA funds, totalling K268 million (US$76 million), belonging to the Western Province people. 

The case is set for trial at the PNG National Court sometime this month.

Niningi said that another reason was over the Leadership Tribunal case involving the Minister for Labour and Immigration and Madang MP Bryan Kramer. 

He said back in 2019, Sir Gibbs had lodged a formal complaint for police to investigate a social media post by Kramer, on the role of the Chief Justice, in relation to the case of Peter O’ Neill. 

Niningi said that the public might view that the Chief Justice can play a part in the overall outcome of the leadership tribunal decision because of this.  “Observance of fundamental principles and values is crucial in such situations,” said Nining.