Court restrains party from taking office

National, Normal


THE Waigani National Court has restrained an opposing party in the Kundiawa urban local level government council, Chimbu, from taking office after the removal of the town mayor in a vote of no-confidence last month.
National Court judge Justice Ambeng Kandakasi issued the restraining orders on Tuesday after ousted mayor Teine Songan made an application seeking the orders pending hearing of an originating summons he served on the opposing party citing irregularities and breaches of proper procedures involved in his ousting.
The order effectively stops new mayor elect Marshall Konia (first defendant), Bagle Kundia, John Dama (second defendants), Maria Kale, Rosa Kee and Kimin Mondo (third defendants) from taking office.
Chimbu Governor Fr John Garia (named as fourth defendant) and Kundiawa-Gembogl district administrator Kepa Pandan and his caretaker administrator Nixon Nebare (listed as fifth defendants) were also restrained from interfering with the free and independent exercise of powers and functions of members of the council.
Kundiawa urban ward four councillor Konia was elected unopposed 6-0 on Oct 29 at the Kundiawa Catholic church parish hall at around 5pm ousting Sogan as mayor for alleged lack of performances.
The Songan faction was not present when the vote was taken but was attempting to take out a restraining order, however, when that failed, the vote was taken.
Insiders with Konia told The National earlier that the new mayor would be sworn into office on Nov 25, however, the court order effectively restrained the procedure.
Songan continues as mayor and deputy governor of Chimbu until the court decides otherwise when the matter returns to court on Nov 16 as the date set by the registrar of the National Court in Waigani.
Meanwhile, Songan said he held no grudges against anyone as the office of Kundiawa town Mayor was a public office in which all of them were only custodians placed there to serve the people.
He said the three tiers of government in PNG should respect the law which protected and guides them in all their dealings to serve the people.