Bid to halt tribunal hearing fails

A bid by former Clerk of Parliament, Vela Konivaro today to get the National Court to stay his leadership tribunal has been refused.

Konivaro through his lawyer, Justin Issack went before recently appointed judge, Justice Harold Terrence Foulds on Tuesday with an urgent application seeking leave to file for Judicial Review.

He also sought a stay order against members of the leadership tribunal consisting of Justices Derek Hartshorn, Martin Ipang and Sir Kina Bona from handing down their sentence against him till the review is dealt with.

Justice Foulds refused the application today saying he has no jurisdiction to grant leave for judicial review because one cannot seek substantive relief (stay) at the leave stage.

He said the application filed Dec 29, 2016 by Konivaro is incompetent and premature and he has no jurisdiction to hear it.

On Sept 22, 2016, the Leadership Tribunal convicted Konivaro for misconduct in office. He was found guilty of approving and entering into a K2.9 million contract with a consultant without authority.

He was also found guilty of failing to distribute public funds totalling K25,000 and for approving an organisation and management structure in the Parliamentary services without authority. This amounted to misbehaviour under Section 7(b) of the Organic Law on the Guarantee of Rights and Independence of Constitutional office holders.

Submissions were done to the tribunal on what it should recommend as his penalty. His sentence is yet to be handed down by the Leadership Tribunal.

Picture source:

Sally Pokiton