In what can only be described as as turbulent time for rugby league in the country, Papua New Guinea is now free to move forward in their RL developments – following the dismissal of a court case, filed against their interim RL administration.
Ivan Ravu, who is the interim administrator at the PNGRFL was pleased with the court’s decision, saying that the game in Papua New Guinea could now move forward – rather than dwelling on the past.
With the annual Australian game against the Papua New Guinean Presidents XIII coming up in 8 weeks time, Ravu will have his work cut out in formulating a side for the fixture.
Things very nearly got ugly for Papua New Guinean rugby league, with Wabag RL president Joseph Kilipali, the President of the other 18 highlands, and Joe Tokam, were all against the interim PNGRL administration.
Due to the complexity of the case, it took some time – but the National Court dismissed the case against the interim administration in its entirety, citing a case that was without merit, as well as amounting to abuse throughout the process.
It was the Court’s ruling, that the payment by 18 highlands leagues and several others to Joe Tokam (who is a former highlands development officer), into a specified account, was improper.
â€œThose leagues are not recognised affiliates or members of the PNGRFL unless the affiliation fees are paid into the PNGRFL account in Port Moresbyâ€ the court said.
The Court also ruled, through Justice Ere Kariko, that because Tokam is no longer employed by the PNGRFL, he has no business or authority, to conduct any business related matters for the PNGRFL.
Kariko cited Tokam’s supposed authoritative gesture to collect money, something the Justice said Kariko was not allowed to do.
With the case now dismissed, Kariko stated that all the plaintiffs were responsible, for accruing the legal costs of the Court case.