Acting Lands Commissioner defends PM Lilo's land purchase. Photo: SIBC

Acting Lands Commissioner defends PM Lilo’s land purchase. Photo: SIBC

Acting Commissioner of Lands, Nester Maelanga has defended the Prime Minister’s purchase of land in Doma, Guadalcanal saying Gordon Darcy Lilo made the purchase following the right procedure.

Doma is to be become the province’s township and will also host some major developments – including the fourth campus of the University of the South Pacific.

A local newspaper had reported that Deputy Premier of Guadalcanal, Walton Naezon claimed the Prime Minister illegally purchased the land, and payments were done outside required process.

But Mrs Maelanga said the process in which the land was purchased was done following the right procedure.

She also said the Ministry of Lands was not directly involved in the transaction, but the Ministry has documents to prove nothing fishy was done while purchasing this land so people should not be misguided.

The Acting Commissioner of Lands also said the Deputy Premier, Walton Naezon should check thoroughly with the lands division within his office as the responsible office before going to the media.

According to the Acting Commissioner of Lands, the land was leased to Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo on fixed term estate when former Premier, Anthony Veke was Premier.

Meanwhile, the Press Secretary to the Prime Minister Douglas Marau has lashed out at the Island Sun newspaper, saying the paper ran ‘an unfounded claim against the Prime Minister’.

In a press statement, Mr Marau said the story was biased in the sense that rightful authorities were not consulted to balance the article.

He said this is lazy journalism, and this seems to be a normal practice now in the newsrooms.

The Press Secretary said he urges the media to be fair in their reporting.

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