Court refuses church officer’s appeal

National, Normal

The National, Thursday 9th May 2013


A COURT has refused an application by a former Evangelical Lutheran church official to set aside his termination last month.

The church terminated the employment of James Pena, the church’s finance secretary, on Dec 10 last year after his contract expired.

Justice Jacinta Murray refused his application to set aside the employment termination on the grounds that Pena did not have a serious question to be tried in court and that the balance of convenience did not favour him.

Murray said: “I do not accept the plaintiff’s argument that it is in the interest of justice that the injunction be granted so that he can protect the funds and other properties that do not belong to him.”

Murray said the argument by Pena that damages he suffered should be used as a remedy to grant the injunction was insufficient because there was no evidence to show that the plaintiff had suffered loss or damages.

“Therefore, for the foregoing reasons I am not persuaded that the plaintiff has made out a case for the application for the interim injunction and so I decline the application with costs to the defendants,” the judge said.

The church in a statement yesterday urged Pena to respect the decision of the court and return all its properties in his possession.

“The public is advised that any business dealing with Pena does not represent ELC-PNG,” it said.

“The church wishes to inform those employees who have supported the former finance secretary to respect the court’s decision and take necessary reconciliation process to bring peace and normalcy to the church administration.”