Disabled take 7 to court

National, Normal

The National, Friday June 21st, 2013

 SEVEN people who have been allegedly occupying houses belonging to disabled people were taken to court yesterday by the disabled. 

Tafun Laisias, Dennis So-on, Albert Nowai, Yasu Kusu, Gina Philip, Nudas Save and Ronnie Tore appeared before the Lae District Court for residing illegally on the land described as section 111, allotment 02.

The land is located at Jawani Street, Lae, Morobe.

They were taken to court by Esatu Minahau and Denny Nema on behalf of the disabled people.

“The defendants are able bodied people and are not supposed to reside in the property,” Minahau told the court.

“I ask the court to evict them.” 

Minahau said the property in dispute contains 10 houses built on a five hectare land and was occupied by the defendants who are not disabled.

The property belongs to the Association for the Homes for Disabled People – a disability group in Lae. 

“No one particular person own this place. It was built as a rehabilitation centre for all disabled people that were referred there by Angau (Memorial Hospital),” he said. 

He said the accused were using water and electricity free of charge and did not pay the rental bills which amounted to over K20,000 in 2011 and was settled by the Morobe government. 

He told the court that when they took the matter to court in 2002, they were attacked by the able bodied people who lived in the property.

“We have around 10 disables but most of them live in the hall and administration office and not the houses,” Minahau said after the hearing. 

Lae district court magistrate Nasaling Bingtau asked So-on if it was correct that they were residing illegally on the said property but he said some of the things stated by the complainants were not true. 

“There is no board. They did not follow proper processes and we do not know whether they (complainants) are recognised (to represent the organisation) or not,” So-on told the court.

So-on said a Alphonse Palang was the chairman of the association and he was the one who told him to reside in the property.

Bingtau asked the defendants how they managed to settle in the area without a title to the land and most of them said they were related to the disabled people who had lived there in the past but have since died. 

After listening to the arguments, Bingtau ordered that Palang appear in court and inform it as to whether or not there is a current board in charge of the centre.

He urged both parties to return on July 4 and instructed that they refrain from fighting each other or create further problems.