Court not the right forum: Judge

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DEPUTY Chief Justice Ambeng Kandakasi has ordered a clan claiming to be one of the landowning clans within the new Porgera mining lease area to go out in an open vetting forum to find out why it was not recognised as a landowning clan.
Justice Kandakasi issued the order on Wednesday after he ousted a notice of motion filed by Frederick Ipara (plaintiff) on behalf of the Pakien Kingime clan of Porgera, who claimed it was not recognised as one of the 25 principle landowning clans within the new Porgera special mining lease 11 by the State.
The clan opted to restrain the State and its authorities from carrying out any operation pursuant to the agreement of the new mining lease unless its grievances were settled.
Justice Kandakasi was determined that the court was not the right forum to answer to the Pakien Kingime clan’s grievances because the rightful entity to identify valid landowners and landowning clans within the mining lease area was the people of Porgera.
He dismissed the motion because Solicitor-General Tauvasa Tanuvasa, for the State, and lawyer Nelson Saroa, for Mineral Resource Authority, conceded that plaintiff’s claims were not substantiated with evidence.
“What we are trying to do is make sure people have their say in this,” Tanuvasa said.
“My friend has said he has on instructions said that they have been left out without pointing to any particular evidence to show how the State has been amusable in trying to make sure that this validation process is done properly.
“He who alleges must prove and my friend has not pointed to actual evidences to the satisfaction of this court to say that this is what had happened in terms of his client.
“We (State) are struggling ourselves trying to understand who the person that stopped them was.”
Tanuvasa’s submission was conceding an order Justice Kandakasi delivered last month where he reverted the validation process back to the people to identify themselves the valid landowning clans within the special mining lease area.
Saroa informed the court that the validation process as Kandakasi had ordered had now been concluded.
“If some of you went ahead and shut the door to anyone who claimed to become a clan and missed out, proper settlement of that 25 is not in order” Justice Kandakasi said.
“The person is supposed to have an open forum, to speak and then the rest of that clans 25 or more would comment.”