Agiru seeks court order to remain as governor

Ousted Hela Governor Anderson Agiru yesterday filed a notice of motion seeking the National Court to allow him to perform his duty as the Governor of Hela.

 Agiru was ousted as governor at a meeting conducted by Francis Potape and other members of the Hela Provincial Assembly on December 29 in Tari.

He returned to the National Court at Waigani this morning to move the notice of motion that was filed on January 4 (yesterday).

However the matter could not proceed any further as the motion was “short served’’ (insufficient notice) to Francis Potape’s lawyer Philip Ame just this morning.

The matter came before Justice Derek Hartshorn.

Ame told the court he was served the notice of motion this morning before court and needed time to seek instructions from his client, Francis Potape.

However Agiru’s lawyer Goiye Gileng told the court the matter was urgent as there were some outstanding  issues that needed to be addressed. Issues in relation to the LNG project which the new Hela province is playing host to.

He said the meeting of December 29 was not properly conducted nor was it conducted by the Hela Assembly clerk at the usual place of meeting.

Justice Hartshorn ordered that the matter return to court tomorrow afternoon where a proper hearing will take place.

Agiru was present in court this morning while a crowd of anxious supporters gathered outside the court house precinct. 

Potape was voted in as governor through a majority vote of 10 members of the Hela provincial assembly out of its 14 members on December 29.

(Pictured are Agiru’s lawyers walking out to a crowd of supporters this morning at the Waigani Court house car park. ) 

Sally Pokiton