Petition case to return to court


LAWYERS representing former Hela governor Francis Potape, his successor Philip Undialu and the electoral commission yesterday appeared before the Waigani National Court for directions in the election petition case Potape had filed challenging Undialu’s election victory.
Justice Colin Makail gave directions for the parties to file and serve documents before the case returned to court on Oct 16 for pre-trial and listing.
Potape through his lawyer Paul Ot said the petition was filed based on allegations of errors and omissions as well as illegal practices during counting by agents of the electoral commission named in the petition as the second respondent.
The court heard that the petitioner will provide 40 witness affidavits to be filed and served to Undialu and the EC by Sept 27.
The petitioner will summon a lawyer representing the EC who was present during the counting process in Hela to give evidence in court.
Undialu’s lawyer Goiya Gileng told the court that the allegations were against the EC, however, they would also have 30 witnesses to file statements in relation to the conduct of the petitioner, Potape, during counting and file their affidavits in response.
The EC will also call its witnesses and file and serve its responses.
The court issued directions for the EC to produce copies of Form 66 (A) and (B) to the petitioner.
Justice Makail also adjourned Undialu’s application for objection to competency to a later date.

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