The Waigani National Court granted the interim orders yesterday afternoon after the sidelined Eastern Highlands Provincial Administrator Solomon Tato filed a notice of motion that was heard ex-parte.
Acting Judge Danjo Koeget when presiding over the matter also ordered that Tato immediately resume office as the Eastern Highlands Provincial Administrator as the substantive Provincial Administrator forthwith pending the determination of the substantive matter.
Public Service Minister Puka Temu and Secretary for the Department of Personnel Management John Kali were also restrained from appointing Akunai as the permanent Eastern Highlands Provincial Administrator until the substantive matter is dealt with.
They have also been restrained from further extending Akunai’s term as acting Provincial Administrator for Eastern Highlands.
The matter will return to court on February 15, 2016 where the substantive matter is expected to be heard.
The court heard that Tato was appointed as the Eastern Highlands Provincial Administrator on Nov 26, 2014 through an NEC decision.
This decision allegedly did not go down well with Soso and the other members of the EHP Provincial Executive Council.
The court also heard Soso and her PEC members refused to endorse Tato’s contract, instead they filed a Judicial review proceeding at the Goroka National Court.
That Judicial Review proceeding was later withdrawn while the appointment of Tato remained unrevoked by the NEC.
John Jimisebi was later appointed Provincial Administrator, which he allegedly refused to take up.
On August 4 this year, Justice Ambeng Kandakasi granted interim orders at the National Court to have Tato step aside as Provincial Administrator pending allegations of criminal investigations.
These criminal allegations were dismissed by the Goroka District Court on November 27 on insufficient evidence.
On December 23, Tato filed the Urgent application at Waigani that was dealt with yesterday.
(Pictured is Solomon Tato’s lawyer and supporters outside the Waigani National Court precinct.)