By JULIA DAIA BORE
REGIONAL member for Gulf Havila Kavo has been reinstated as interim governor pending substantive court proceedings and determination of an appeal now before the courts.
While declaring Kavo’s reinstatement as interim Gulf governor, Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia, sitting alone in the Supreme Court, said: “The removal of the appellant (Kavo) as the governor of Gulf and the election of the second respondent (Titus Pitom Bombom) is an issue that needs to be fully ventilated between the parties, litigated and determined by the National Court.
“I agree with the trial judge that there are serious issues to be tried as to the manner in which the notice of motion was given and voted on under section(s) 20 of the Organic Law on provincial and local level government (OLPLLG) for the removal of the appellant and the motion, to elect the second respondent as the new governor, was given and moved under s21 of OLPLLG,” Sir Salamo said.
“Proof of the proper minutes or hansards will no doubt settle some of those questions.
“I agree with the trial judge that the appellant may not have an arguable case on a request issued under s13(a) of the Provincial Administration Act because it contained the names and signatures of more than one-third of the members of the Gulf provincial assembly, the council presidents included, and the notice was served on him.
“However, serious issues are raised as to how the meeting was convened and conducted by the respondents, resolutions reached and records kept on matters concerning motion of no-confidence and the election of a new governor.”
The Supreme Court last Thursday also pointed out that Kavo has been governor since being elected into office since July 2007 and that he has been running the province since that time.
“There is no suggestion in the affidavits that were filed in the National Court suggesting gross mismanagement or malpractices committed by him or his government,” Sir Salamo said.
“There is a greater risk to good administration of the province when a new person, who has no proven track record of management of the office of the governor, is allowed to take over in the short period the current court proceeding.
“As the evidence produced by the appellant shows, the provincial administration can be quite unsettling and could easily turn chaotic and could result in irreparable damage which the appellant’s administration could find itself difficult to repair, if it wins the appeal and the action in the National Court.
“I am satisfied that the balance of convenience and the maintenance of the status quo favours the appellant (Kavo).
“ I am not satisfied that the second respondent (Bombom) possesses qualifications and experience superior to that of the appellant (Kavo) to run the province in the interim in an effective and efficient manner and that the people of Gulf, will be better off in the short interim period through his services.”