Review application against Daki dismissed

The Waigani Supreme Court yesterday refused the application for leave to review the decision of the National Court against the respondent Tambul-Nebilyer MP Win Bakri Daki and the Electoral Commission.

When filling his application on November 30 2023, petitioner Paul Mawa submitted that his petition in the National Court was dismissed by Judge Jacinta Murry in Mt Hagan National Court on Nov 21 2023 due to objection of competency.

However, according to Mawa the decision was made without determining its merit.

Mawa said this is because the court was yet to determine whether or not the election petition should be filed through the Integrated Election Case Management System (IECMS) or through the court registry.

He said this is because some of the judges sitting on similar cases had differing views about this with some saying the petition should be filed through the court registry.

He asked for leave to be granted on that ground so the Supreme Court can review the National Court’s decision that dismissed his petition.

In making his decision Judge Hartshorn ruled that, “No evidence has been given or submissions made which would enable this court to find that in this circumstance showing a manifestation of substantial injustice particularly when there is doubt as to the validity of the IEMCMS Practice Direction.

“As to the submission that is in the interest of justice that the decision be reviewed. I am not satisfied that it is in the interest of justice for the application to be permitted to review the decision. This is particularly or when the relevant law pursuant to section 220 of the organic law, prohibits an appeal and state that a decision should not be questioned in any way.

“Additionally, the application does not satisfy the requirement of law to enable this court to grant leave, the application has not demonstrated a serious issue on a point of law or fact to be determined, and the application has not demonstrated that exceptional circumstance exist or that is in the interest of justice for leave to be granted,” Justice Hartshorn said.

Outside of court, Daki’s lawyer Paul Othas was satisfied with the court’s decision.

“The election petition was already dismissed by the National Court in Mt Hagan but the petitioner exercised his rights to file a review in the Supreme Court and we respected that to allow the court processes to proceed, which finally the decision was handed down today,” Othas said

Minister Daki thanked his legal team for the effort they have put in this case leading to this decision.

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