Leave refused to Micah

The Supreme Court has refused to review the lower court's decision that dismissed an election petition filed by former Kavieng MP Ben Micah.

Micah's petition was dismissed in the National Court for being incompetent because it was filed one day late and outside the 40-day period.

Ian Ling-Stuckey was declared MP on 20 July 2017. The 40-day filing period ended on 29 August. Micah filed the petition on 30 August 2017.

During competency hearing in the National Court, Micah stated in his affidavit that there was an error in the gazette notice regarding public holiday dates of 27 July and 26 August. The year dated on the gazette was 2018 and not 2017.

A subsequent notice containing the correct date was not attached to Micah's affidavit and he was unable to attach it.

He had access to that notice on his mobile phone, which was refused by the trial judge when he attempted to admit it into evidence in the National Court.

Micah sought leave in the Supreme Court on the ground of admissibility of that gazettal notice.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia in refusing to grant leave said there was no important points of law to be determined by the full court.

The 40-day filing period, which was a mandatory requirement, was not complied with in the first place.

The 40th day was on 29 August, Sir Salamo said the National Court registry was open on weekends to file petitions on special arrangements.

Given that 26 August was Repentance Day and a public holiday, Micah had the 27, 28 and 29 August available to file the petition, which he did not.

The court refused his application and ordered Micah to pay Ling-Stuckey and the Electoral Commission’s costs.

(Former Kavieng MP Ben Micah)

Sally Pokiton