The Waigani National Court has reserved its ruling on two applications that was moved this afternoon surrounding the legal declaration of the Gumine seat.
Presiding judge, Justice Collin Makail this afternoon heard the two applications that was moved by lawyers representing Dawa Lucas Dekena and Nick Kuman.
The case returned following the restraining orders that were issued on Aug 2, stopping Kuman from making the declaration of office taking part in the election of the Speaker and Prime Minister.
However, the restraining orders were not served in time to the Speaker and Clerk of Parliament, in order for it to take effect against Kuman.
The orders were issued at 11:50am, Kuman made declaration at 12:03pm
Dekena’s lawers submitted in court today that the original writ that was issued by the Electoral Commission on April 20, was signed by Max Yomba, the appointed Returning officer.
It was also put before the court that another writ, issued on April 26, was the one issued by Freddy Yuan.
Lawyer for the Electoral Commission told the court that the application by Dekena’s lawyers should be refused in order to maintain the status-quo, as Kuman has already made the declaration of office.
Kuman’s lawyer at the same time this afternoon, also asked the court to dismiss the case, sighting unreasonable cause of action by Dekena as his client has already been sworn in.
His lawyer said that the case is an abuse of process now that a member has been declared and the only way to challenge the result is by way of election petition.
But Greg Egan, who represented Dekena said it is important that the duly elected member for Gumine represent them on the floor of parliament.
He also asked for an expedited hearing of the case.
Counting for the seat ended on July 26, however the declaration was made two days later on “different results”.
The Judiciary has yet again lost another significant member of the National and Supreme Court bench.
Justice Salatiel Lenalia passed on during the early hours of this morning in Port Moresby.
He passed away at the Pacific International Hospital at 1:30am.
The late Justice Lenalia was one of the three resident judges at Kokopo.
Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia is expected to release an official statement today.
The Judiciary is now organising for his body to taken to the funeral home.
More updates on this today.
“We congratulate the new ministers on their appointments, but we are urging them to immediately address the SABL issue which has been plaguing our country for far too long”, says Eddie Tanago, campaign co-ordinator for the community advocacy group ACT NOW!
“In March, the Prime Minister publicly declared all SABL are unlawful and their cancellation was publicly confirmed by the Minister for Lands in April. Both men said any leaseholders remaining on SABL land were there illegally.
“However, we are receiving reports from around the country that foreign companies are still occupying SABL land, that logging and oil palm operations are still ongoing and police are intimidating and harassing the lawful landowners.
“We are calling on the new Ministers to confirm all the SABL have been cancelled, all SABL logging operations stopped and all police personnel withdrawn from the SABL areas,” he said.
By CHARLES MOI
A COURT has issued a restraining order to stop the signing of an agreement between landowners and the Autonomous Bougainville Government regarding the reopening of the Panguna mine.
Justice Ambeng Kandakasi issued the order at the Waigani National Court following an application filed by Philip Miriori, the chairman of the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Incorporated (SMLOLI).
He ordered that the parties to the proposed memorandum of agreement for the redevelopment of the Panguna mine were “forthwith restrained from signing the agreement”.
“If in the event the agreement has already been signed, the parties to that agreement and any person wanting to implement it are forthwith restrained from doing so,” Kandakasi said.
The signing of the agreement would have paved the way for the Bougainville Copper Limited to start work on the mine’s reopening.
The agreement was to have been signed last Friday but was cancelled after women from the area protested.
The court also restrained Lawrence Daveona from acting as the chairman of SMLOLI. The matter will return to court on Friday.
Justice Kandakasi said the order would remain in force unless the parties to the agreement could produce evidence that they had obtained the consent of the more than 500 block holders.
By DEMAS TIEN
The Waigani National Court has dismissed an application by Frank Kramer to review a decision by Cabinet and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s to remove him as director and chairman of the board of Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL).
Justice Colin Makail (pictured) dismissed Kramer’s judicial review case as it would have been an abuse of the court’s process because the matter was for private law and not pubic law to deal with, he said.
Justice Makail upheld arguments raised by Twivey Lawyers, representing the National Executive Council and the State, that the appropriate mode of proceedings to challenge the dismissal was by way of a writ of summons or originating summons.
“In my view, to commence and proceed by way of judicial review is an abuse of process of the court,” Justice Makail said.
The court found that the decision to dismiss Kramer was appropriately made by O’Neill as a KPHL trustee as required by the Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited Authorisation Act 2015.
The reason given by the trustee to dismiss Kramer on March 28 was that he failed to fill many vacancies in the board.
Kramer denied the allegation and said he took steps to have the vacancies filled.
In his review, Kramer questioned the involvement of NEC because he said under the Act NEC had no role to play in the dismissal of a director or chairman of KPHL.
He said the trustee breached the Act and acted beyond its powers when it sought the approval of the NEC to endorse its decision to dismiss him.
The NEC and O’Neill, through their lawyers, argued that the decision to dismiss Kramer was not reviewable because it was made by the shareholder of a company incorporated under the Companies Act 1997, being KPHL.
They said the dispute regarding Kramer’s dismissal was of a private nature where judicial review and reinstatement were not applicable.
THE Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) has strongly warned that K160 million in paper money it had designated to be destroyed had been hijacked, and some of it have found their way back to the country.
The bank said of the total amount, only K1 million has been recouped and now held in custody to be destroyed, while intense investigations are being carried out on the whereabouts of the rest.
The bank is also cautioning the public not be fooled by these old notes, which are illegal and cannot be used for business transactions.
With the national election in process and with large sums of cash in circulation, BPNG has urged members of the public to be wary and to report any sightings of these notes.
BPNG governor Loi Bakani said the demonitisation exercise had been undertaken by the Central bank to replace the paper money with the polymer or plastic notes.
Mr Bakani said the paper notes in denominations of K2, K5, K10, K20, K50 and K100 were sold to a recycling company in Europe in 2013.
They were loaded in a container for shipment to Europe but the container was hijacked.
He said the bank had yet to establish how this had happened.
“The border authority reported this was fake money that had come in from Indonesia. This is part of it. We have visited the boarder and we are also working with the banks and authorities on the Indonesian side on how best we can address this issue and get the money out of there.
“The unfortunate thing though is that some of it, mostly K20 and K100 are finding their way back into the country and people may think the polymer notes are fake money and won’t accept it. That is why awareness is vital.
“Because the paper money has been demonitised, it has no value and is not recognised as legal tender,” the governor said.
“The public is advised to check the serial numbers at the bottom of the bank notes. If you are receiving or are holding onto any of these paper notes with serial numbers that fall within the range of the serial numbers indicated, reject them outright.”
The serial numbers which will be published are as follows:
n K2, with a prefix’ of ABJ-AJS with numbers of a low 000001 and high of 003000;
n K10, with a prefix’ of AC-AY with numbers of a low 030000 and high 031000;
n K10, with a prefix’ of NBP-NES and numbers with a low 160000 and high of 173000;
n K20, with a prefix’ of BPNG with numbers with a low 0000001 and high of 3000000;
n K50, with a prefix’ of HTT-HUU with numbers with a low 080000 and a high of 090000; and
n K100, with a prefix of BPNG, with numbers of a low 0000001 and high of 6000000.
The governor said the demonitisation exercise had run for four years and those holding onto old notes had enough time to exchange them for polymer notes.
The time had lapsed and the bank would not be doing any exchanges because they are no longer legal tender.