Court dismisses Moresby North-West petition

A petition disputing Sir Mekere Morauta’s election as Moresby North-West member has been dismissed by the court.

Sir Mekere said the petition was dismissed on legal, procedural and technical grounds.

The dismissal came after the court found the petition was incompetent. Petitioner Lohia Boe Samuel failed to comply with requirements of section 208 of the Organic law.  

Samuel failed to state the occupation of the two attesting witnesses in the petition, which is a requirement, breaching section 208(d) of the organic law.

“It’s a matter of law, the law’s been enforced right here.

“But it’s a great relief. Now that it’s over, we go back to governing and helping the people of North-West,” Sir Mekere said outside court today.

Samuel will for now consider his options and decide if he will file for review in the Supreme Court.

Sir Mekere objected the petition on two main grounds; that the petition failed to meet the requirements by not adequately stating facts for the court to rely on, in order to invalidate the election.

He also said the petition failed to indicate the occupation of two attesting witnesses.

Justice David Cannings, in delivering the ruling on objection to competency this afternoon, said the purpose of meeting the requirements of section 208 of the organic law is to ensure the genuineness of a petition.

“The failure of both attesting witnesses to state their occupation cannot be ignored or excused….The statement of occupation requirement is a mandatory part of section 208 (d).

“Failure to comply with one requirement is fatal to the petition,” Justice Cannings ruled.

The petitioner was ordered to pay the respondents’ costs in relation to the petition in the fixed sum of K2,500 each. That is the security deposit of K5,000.

Sally Pokiton