Potape and his lawyer appeared before Justice Collin Makail on Friday morning seeking interim orders to have the court recognise him as Hela Governor and Thomas Potape as deputy governor.
The motion also seeks to restrain member Koroba-Lake Kopiagio, Philip Undialu, from acting as Governor. Undialu was purportedly elected governor by the Provincial Assembly on the morning of July 5.
Potape’s notice of motion filed on Aug 9 did not proceed to be heard today.
Justice Makail said he will not deal with any interim orders sought today but will do so during the substantive hearing on Aug 25 due to the urgency of the situation.
The issue of the election of the Provincial Assembly meeting on July 5 will now be determined on Aug 25 while Undialu remains as governor to maintain the status quo till then.
A Provincial Assembly meeting was conducted on June 28 in Hela. This meeting was adjourned to the afternoon of July 5. However on that day, the Clerk of the Hela Provincial Assembly, Watson Ebela, chaired a meeting in the morning that elected Undialu as governor.
Deputy Governor Thomas Potape on that afternoon chaired another meeting that elected Francis Potape as governor.