Bando seeks contempt charges against Potape

Hela Provincial Administrator, William Bando, has filed a contempt proceeding in the Waigani National Court against former Hela Governor, Francis Potape.

He is seeking the orders of the court to have Potape charged with contempt of court for allegedly breaching an order of the court from May 26.

The contempt proceeding arises from a judicial review filed by Bando regarding his suspension on April 12.

Bando alleges that Potape disobeyed a court order from May 26, restraining him from interfering with the Hela executive council.

It is alleged that despite that restraining order, Potape went ahead and appointed a new provincial Election Steering Committee for the Hela Province.

The contempt proceeding briefly went before Justice Leka Nablu last week however, was adjourned to give Bando’s lawyer time to serve the contempt motion, personally on Potape.

Bando was appointed Hela PA on June 21, 2016, and was also the chairman of the Hela Election Steering Committee.

He was suspended by the Hela Provincial Executive Council on April 12. Kove Waiko was then appointed as the acting provincial administrator.

Following his suspension, he filed a judicial review challenging his suspension. Leave was allowed for the court to review his suspension.

Bando was suspended over allegations he refused to release payment of K7.9 million and K500,000 respectively to “certain individuals” as per directions on March 3.

That suspension was stayed by the National Court on May 26.

(Loop PNG file picture)

Sally Pokiton