Namah fails review of Tribunal appointment

An attempt to review the appointment of the Leadership Tribunal by Vanimo-Green MP Belden Namah failed at the National Court this morning.

Namah filed an application early this week seeking  a review of the appointment of a Leadership Tribunal that was done by the Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia on October 9.

He was also seeking to review the decisions of the Ombudsman Commission on April 13 this year to refer him to the Public Prosecutor and the decision of the Public Prosecutor on August 13 asking  the Chief Justice to appoint a leadership tribunal.

Namah is due in court tomorrow (October 23) for his Leadership Tribunal hearing. He is facing 15 allegations of misconduct in office.

He will appear before Justice Goodwin Poole as chairman and two senior magistrates,  Mark Selefkaru and Ernest Wilmont.

He filed the application on the grounds that there were constitutional aspects in the appointment of the tribunal which needed interpretation of the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership.

Counsel representing Namah, Greg Sheppard,  appeared before Acting Judge Leka Nablu with the application seeking a review and interim orders against the tribunal sitting tomorrow.

Sheppard said the Chief Justice is subject to one of the allegations Namah is facing thus the appointment of his tribunal may affect the validity of the proceeding.

 Acting Judge Leka Nablu in refusing the leave application said that if a stay against the tribunal commencing was given and leave was granted, it would be ‘futile’ and is late.

She however said he can still appeal for relief before the tribunal  and is at liberty to apply to the registry to get another judge to hear about that relief.

Former Chief Ombudsman Rigo Lua, Ombudsman Phoebe Sangatari, the Ombudsman Commission, Public Prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin, Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia and members of the tribunal are respondents in the application.  

Sally Pokiton