Service on Potape 'difficult'

William Bando's lawyers have been "having difficulties" in serving former Governor, Francis Potape, a contempt of court motion.

Hela Provincial Administrator Bando filed a contempt motion in the Waigani National Court, seeking orders to have Potape charged with contempt for allegedly breaching an order from May 26.

Anthony Waira, who acts for Bando, told the court today they are having difficulties in effecting serve on Potape.

Police attempted to serve Potape last week outside court however, he got away after attending a hearing in an election petition he filed disputing Philip Undialu's win. 

Waira told Justice Leka Nablu in court that Potape is "deliberately" avoiding service but they will look at means to have him served.

The court adjourned the hearing of that motion to November 9.

A motion by Potape's lawyer, Philip Ame, seeking dismissal of the entire proceeding will also return on that same date.  

Ame said events have overturned and the case should be dismissed.

The contempt motion arises from a judicial review case filed by Bando regarding his suspension on April 12.

Bando alleges that Potape disobeyed a court order from May 26, restraining him from interfering with the Hela executive council.

It is alleged that despite that restraining order, Potape went ahead and appointed a new provincial Election Steering Committee for the Hela Province.

Bando was appointed Hela PA on June 21, 2016, and was also the chairman of the Hela Election Steering Committee.

He was suspended by the Hela Provincial Executive Council on April 12. Kove Waiko was then appointed as the acting provincial administrator.

Following his suspension, he filed a judicial review challenging his suspension. Leave was allowed for the court to review his suspension.

Bando was suspended over allegations he refused to release payment to “certain individuals” as per directions on March 3.

That suspension was stayed by the National Court on May 26.

(Loop PNG file picture)

Sally Pokiton