​Polye failed to give instructions to lawyer

​Delay in the UBS loan case proceeding to hearing in the Supreme Court has seen the matter listed for summary determination, after the applicant failed to give instructions to his lawyer.

The Supreme Court application was filed by Don Polye last year, challenging the Government’s decision to acquire the K3 billion UBS loan in 2013.

The matter has been pending in court since 3 November 2016, when the high court agreed to hear the application, after the court saw that Polye had standing or the legal right to challenge the government’s decision in obtaining that loan.

However, Polye has not given any instructions to his lawyer, Loani Henao, since March this year regarding the case.

Henao appeared in court yesterday, indicating he will be filing notice to cease acting for Polye in the application, mainly due to difficulties in obtaining instructions from his client.

Presiding judge in the Supreme Court directions hearing, Justice Collin Makail, put the matter down for summary determination that will be set at a later date.

Polye, through his lawyer Henao, asked the court on Oct 28, 2016, to hear his application (standing) and enquire into the manner in which the UBS loan was approved and obtained by the Government.

He said the NEC breached section 209 of the Constitution when acquiring the UBS loan by not seeking the approval of Parliament before the State entered into a financial agreement with the Union Bank of Switzerland. This was for the purpose of obtaining 10.1 percent shares in Oil Search.

On Nov 3, 2016, a three-man Supreme Court bench consisting of Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika, Justice David Cannings and Justice Stephen Kassman, in a unanimous decision, ruled that Polye had standing or the legal capacity to challenge the Government’s decision in court through a Supreme Court application he filed under section 18(1) of the Constitution.

They were of the view that Polye raised significant constitutional issues and that he has the right to challenge the decision as he holds a public office and is a member of parliament.

A date was to be set for the substantive hearing of the application; however that hearing is yet to take place after leave was granted to Polye on the issue of standing.

Sally Pokiton