Potape to file for review

Lawyers representing Francis Potape will be filing a review in the Supreme Court – before the end of this week – to challenge the dismissal of the petition he filed disputing Philip Undialu’s win.

His lawyer, Paul Othas, informed this newsroom they are still compiling the review.

He said the grounds of the review are on the basis that the National Court went outside the objection grounds raised by Undialu and made findings on its own.

“The petitioner is entitled to a review,” Othas said.

They will be seeking leave of the Supreme Court to review the dismissal. The high court will hear the review if it gets past the leave stage.

The petition was on grounds of errors and omission and illegal practice against the Electoral Commission, its servants and agents.

He claimed the returning officer failed to comply with section 175 of the organic law, and challenged the final process of the election which led to Undialu being declared governor.  

On January 24, the National Court threw out the petition because essential facts that should have been pleaded to support the two grounds of the petition were not stated.

The court upheld Undialu’s challenge on the competency of the petition, and found alternate pleadings were instead stated in the petition, which made it confusing for the court.

Potape was seeking to be declared by the court as member elect. The court found that relief sought was based on assumptions.

Justice Ellenas Batari said the pleadings are contradictory and confusing and shouldn’t happen in election petitions.

Meanwhile, the petition filed by Hewali Hemia has survived the competency stage and will go for trial next month.

Sally Pokiton