Judge Refuses To Preside Over Matter

Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika has disqualified himself from presiding in an ongoing state appeal.

The appeal is against the National Court decision that nullified the appointment of David Manning as Commissioner of Police, and Secretary to the then Department of Police.

He revealed this to the parties this morning in court. Sir Gibbs said his decision was for transparency sake and to avoid bias after his wife had informed him that Commissioner Manning had invited her for coffee last week.

The Chief Justice said the meeting between Commissioner Manning and his spouse took place at Brian Bell Home Centre where his wife happened to be doing shopping.

Justice Salika said Manning had approached her and asked her to have coffee at a restaurant at the shopping centre. 

Respondents in the matter and former senior police officers, Sylvester Kalaut and Fred Yakasa in a statement, expressed disappointment over Manning’s conduct, which has compromised the independence of the judiciary.

“It is unbecoming of parties in proceedings talking to families and spouses of judges who are presiding over matters which people like David Manning are directly connected to.

“By his direct involvement, he has compromised the independence of the judiciary which has resulted in the Chief Justice disqualifying himself,” Kalaut said.

The appeal matter has now been adjourned to Monday, 11th October, 2021.

Jemimah Sukbat