Philip Undialu

Governor alleges misapplication of disaster funds

Governor Undialu said it has been a year already and money received to assist those affected in his province has not reached them.

He blamed Treasury, Finance and the Prime Minister’s Office for the alleged misused of disaster funds.

He claimed that the US$50 million (K159.34m) World Bank loan obtained for last year’s 7.5 magnitude earthquake has been misapplied by Government, including K106 million from donations.

Governor Undialu has called on the World Bank to recall its US$50m loan and hold the Government accountable for this.

Emergency funds report yet to be tabled

Governor Undialu said people who have contributed in cash and kind have to be acknowledged.

A massive earthquake of 7.5 magnitude struck some areas in Hela, Southern Highlands, Western and Enga provinces on February 26th, 2018.

The NEC immediately declared a State of Emergency and further approved K450 million for relief operations and to restore services, as well as the formation of an emergency disaster restoration team and the establishment of a restoration authority.

Peace mediation between Hela warring tribes

He recently resolved and concluded a peace deal between two clans at Idawi, where the tribal fight claimed 51 lives and displaced more than eight council wards since 2014.

Undialu’s motto for 2019 is Peace, Unity and Development.

On Thursday, Governor Undialu managed to bring peace between the leaders of Sai Apa and Talira clans, whose confrontations claimed 51 lives since 2014.

Both parties agreed to end the fights and compensate the 51 deceased from both sides. 

Hamiya’s Hela petition dismissed

Justice Ellenas Batari was of the view the grounds presented by Dr Hamiya had no merits.

Dr Hewali Hamiya raised issues in the petition regarding conduct of the election and the lack of scrutiny provided by the Electoral Commission.

He alleged other irregularities of the conduct of the election, like hijacking of ballot boxes, use of excess ballot papers’ errors and omissions; and that the Electoral Commission provided poor scrutiny on the conduct of the election.

EC calls witnesses in Hela petition

Petitioner Francis Potape called a total of 27 witnesses to give evidence in court.

The Electoral Commission opened its case on Friday in the petition trial over the Hela Regional Seat, filed by Francis Potape.

Provincial returning officer for Hela, John Tipa, was called to the stand to give evidence in relation to statements he filed.

Tipa will return to the stand on Monday. The Electoral Commission intends to call two more witnesses before Undialu can call his witnesses.

The petitioner had a total of 59 witnesses, however only 27 were called to the stand.

Governor calls for reopening of Tari airport

Undialu said the Tari airport has made a lot of money for NAC during the PNG LNG Project construction and should not be punished for an incident that they are not responsible for, with respect to the Mendi incident.

Governor Undialu in a statement said for almost three months since the closure of Tari airport, the people of Hela have suffered and have risked their safety by travelling on the highway to Mt Hagen, just to get on a plane.

Scrutineers give evidence in Hela petition

Justice Joseph Yagi is presiding over the trial which commenced last Friday.

Francis Potape’s scrutineer in the election, Tape Pulupe, was called to the stand yesterday to give evidence.

Dr Hewali Hemia’s sole scrutineer in the election was also called yesterday to give evidence.

He was questioned by Philip Undialu’s lawyer on certain parts of his affidavit, which they thought were similar to the affidavit of Potape’s lawyer.

The trial continues.

Potape gives evidence in trial

Potape is challenging Philip Undialu’s declaration of 24 July 2017 in Tari.

He petitioned the court to make findings into the final results of the election and determine who scored the highest votes.

He alleges the Returning Officer did not publicly declare the winner with the votes collected before putting Undialu on the writ.

The issue of the petition is what transpired on 23 July 2017 after he was informed by his scrutineer Tape Pulupe and the Assistant Provincial Returning Officer, Anna Pame, in the afternoon to get ready for his declaration.

Submissions on Hela regional petition tomorrow

Lawyers for petitioner Dr Hewali Hemiya and sitting MP, Philip Undialu, will return to court on Friday for submissions.

Trial in this petition has been complete.

The trial judge will now hear final submissions from counsels before a ruling can be given.

Meanwhile, the other petition that was filed by Francis Potape also disputing Undialu's election as governor has been remitted to the National Court for trial.

The Supreme Court remitted Potape's petition for trial after a successful review.

Trial is yet to commence for Potape's petition.

Potape’s petition back for trial

A three-man Supreme Court bench reinstated the case for trial in the National Court.

Out of the 79 petitions filed disputing election results last year, Potape’s petition is the first to be remitted to the National Court after a successful review by the Supreme Court.

It was dismissed on January 24 as it was found to be incompetent. The National Court saw that essential facts that should have been pleaded to support the two grounds of the petition were not stated.