Undialu needs time to consider next move

Leaders from Hela Province who are currently in court over the Governor seat will return to the National Court next week and inform the court on which case they wish to proceed with.

 Lawyers representing Koroba-Lake Kopiago MP, Philip Undialu and Komo-Margarima MP, Francis Potape who was purportedly elected Governor on Sept 13 returned to court before Justice Collin Makail today.

Undialu’s lawyer Goiye Gileng told the court his client needs more time to consider his next step following Justice Makail’s comments in the National Court last Friday.  

Justice Makail on Friday, Sept 30 told Undialu to make up his mind, whether he wants to pursue fighting the Hela Governor Seat in the National Court or the Supreme Court.

He told Undialu’s lawyer to ask his client to not pursue the same issue in different Courts describing it as an abuse of Court Processes to try the same issue in both the National and Supreme Court. 

Undialu filed two different proceedings in different courts on the same issue.

The one in the National Court is seeking to restrain Francis Potape, from exercising the powers and functions of a Governor, following his election by the Provincial Assembly meeting on Sept 13 in Tari.

Substantively, Undialu’s application seeks to nullify Potape’s election.

In the Supreme Court proceeding, Undialu is appealing the decision of the National Court that was issued on September 6th by Justice Collin Makail. The order issued was for parties to go back to the Provincial Assembly meet and vote a new Governor.

Undialu’s lawyer, Gileng said they will be in a better position to inform the court on their next step on Oct 11.

Meanwhile, Potape’s lawyer Philip Ame also filed a motion in the National Court on Sept 30 seeking to dismiss the motion filed by Undialu.

On Sept 13 the Hela Provincial Assembly met in Tari where nine out of the 13 members unanimously elected Komo-Margarima MP, Francis Potape as the new Governor.

This took place after the National Court on Sept 6 ordered all parties to return to the Provincial Assembly and elect a Governor.

Those absent during the meeting were member Koroba-Lake Kopiagio, Philip Undialu, Tari-Pori MP James Marape, the female Church Representative, and the Awi Pori Lagayu LLG president.

The Hela Provincial Assembly clerk Watson Ebela who was supposed to take minutes of the meeting was absent which saw the Deputy Assembly clerk step in to take minutes.



Sally Pokiton