Yama seeks contempt charges against former EC

Prominent Madang businessman and runner-up in the Madang Open by-election recount in 2014, Peter Yama, is seeking contempt charges at the Waigani National Court against former electoral commissioner Andrew Trawen.

He is also seeking contempt charges against the returning officer involved in the Madang Open by-election recount in 2014, Simon Sinai, and their lawyer Harvey Nii.

Yama is seeking contempt charges against Trawen, Sinai and Nii on allegations they misled the court with wrong information when the court was dealing with an election petition filed by Yama, challenging the election of current Madang Open MP Nixon Duban.

He was in court on Wednesday afternoon with his lawyer, Ben Lomai, where he told the court they will be calling eight witnesses to give evidence during the trial. He has also filed 13 affidavits to support his application.  

He filed an affidavit in court which included the final printout of the election results indicating that he had led by 16,645 votes while Duban was on 15,002 votes.

He claimed that the result that was presented earlier was not the final one.

Lawyer Andrew Kombri, representing the three alleged contemnors, told the court that he would need time to go through the affidavits to decide which witness would be cross-examined.

The matter was later adjourned to Sept 5 by Justice Collin Makail, to give time for parties to ascertain the number of witnesses they will be calling to give evidence in court.

A date for the trial hearing is also expected to be set on Sept 5.

Yama said he is pursuing the matter for the good of the people in the country and future elections.

He also said people’s democratic right to elect their leaders should not be hijacked and the election process should not be tampered with.

Sally Pokiton