Court dismisses restraining orders on would-be governor Mai

Re-elected Sandaun Regional member Amkat Mai this afternoon (October 14) succeeded in dismissing the Supreme Court stay orders of October 7 restraining him from the Governor’s office.

Counsel representing Mai, Greg Egan moved the application this afternoon dismissing orders that were granted by Justice George Manuhu who presided as a single Supreme Court judge last week Wednesday.

The Supreme Court also removed the stay order that restrained Mai from holding any meeting with members of the Sandaun Provincial Executive Committee.

Justice Manuhu in hearing the application today found that the balance of convenience favoured Mai thus dismissing the interim orders he granted last week.

He granted the stay against Mai occupying the Governor’s office and holding any PEC meeting for the purpose of maintaining the status-quo till the matter returned to court today.

 Mai’s lawyer submitted that Justice Manuhu was misled last week by Namah’s lawyer Greg Sheppard.

Egan said Sheppard failed to outline before the Supreme Court last week that a similar exparte’ application seeking restraining orders was earlier refused by Justice Derek Hartshorn at the National Court.

He said the same application was then brought to the Supreme Court last week with no mention of it having been refused earlier.

Sheppard in response submitted that a single Supreme Court judge should not unmake any orders he granted earlier pursuant to order 5 of the Supreme Court rules.

He said to change the fact of a previous order; the matter had to be referred to another judge.

Egan in response said the matter before the court was an application to dismiss a previous order and not an appeal from a lower court for it to be referred to another judge other than the one who initially granted the restraining orders.

Mai, who was happy with the decision this afternoon, told media he will immediately return to the Governor’s office.


Sally Pokiton