Suspension of PNGTA secretary illegal: Court

National

By DAPHNE WANI
THE Waigani National Court last Friday quashed the suspension of PNG Teachers Association (PNGTA) General Secretary Ugwalubu Mowana by Industrial Registrar Helen Saleu in May.
Justice Collin Makail upheld an appeal by the PNGTA and ordered that the suspension of Mowana was illegal, null and void.
Makail said Saleu could have acted without or outside her powers and unconsciously encroached on the powers and functions of the president and the general secretary of PNGTA.
He also said Saleu had denied Mowana the right to be heard in his defence before suspending him from office.
“Such a right is inherent in any public employment setting and a breach of which may result in any decision made being illegal and void,” Makail said.
The National Court ruling followed an appeal made by PNGTA president Tommy Hecko and Mowana against Saleu’s decision of May 11, 2016 to suspend Mowana pending investigations into allegations of abuse of office and gross misuse of funds belonging to the union.
The appellants also appealed against Saleu’s decision to appoint Andric Yagro as caretaker administrator of the PNGTA and a direction to the BSP to stop withdrawal of funds from the PNGTA account pending the completion of the investigation.

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