Dion files petition against Konga

Three election petitions from the New Guinea Islands region were among 19 cases that went for directions hearing yesterday at the Waigani National Court.

Among them was the petition filed against East New Britain Governor, Nakikus Konga, by former governor, Sir Leo Dion.

Returning Officer Joap Voivoi was summoned on the request of Dion’s lawyer to appear in court for the trial. Other electoral officers will also be summoned soon.

Dion is alleging grounds of errors and omission during counting against the Electoral Commission.

He alleges that electoral officials who conducted counting were not appointed or gazetted as returning officers and assistant returning officers.

His lawyer went to court seeking to have orders issued to keep the ballot boxes at the Kokopo Police Station for safe keeping, as he is seeking a recount of the votes in the petition.

However, the court said the order sought should be subject to a proper motion or application to be filed in court.

To the New Ireland Province, the petition filed over the Kavieng Open seat also came for directions on Monday.

Former MP Ben Micah, who filed the petition against Ian Ling-Stuckey, was present in court.

He is alleging two grounds of bribery against his successor and one instance of illegal practice on the part of the Electoral Commission.

He intends to call 15 witnesses while the Electoral Commission has been ordered to produce the electoral roll from the Lavongai LLG.

In the Central Bougainville seat, former MP Sam Akoita’s lawyer indicated 27 witnesses will be used in the petition he filed against sitting MP, Fr Simon Dumarinu.

Akoita is also alleging errors and omissions in the petition against the Electoral Commission.

The Electoral Commission has been ordered to produce electoral rolls from Wakunai and Panguna for the trial.

 The three petitions return mid-November for pre-trial conference where trial dates will be set.

(Loop file pic of Sir Leo Dion)





Sally Pokiton