The National, Thursday July 4th, 2013
By JAMES APA GUMUNO
THE National Court in Mt Hagen on Monday removed the Western Highlands Provincial Education Board (PEB) headed by chairman Stanley Maip.
Justice Goodwin Poole found the board headed by Joe Yaga was valid and still in place.
The court found that Governor Paias Wingti acted beyond his powers to revoke the previous board appointed by former governor, Tom Olga.
The court found that on Nov 24, last year Wingti, in his capacity as chairman of the provincial executive council, revoked the provincial education board headed by Yaga and appointed Maip to lead the new board.
Wingti relied and acted upon Section 23 (3) of the Organic Law on the Provincial and Local Level Governments.
However, there is no statutory grant of executive power to the governor to act alone.
The court declared that the purported instruments of revocation and appointment of the new board by Wingti was null and void
The court reappointed Yaga and 13 others whose appointments had been revoked.
The court declared teachers’ appointments made by Maip and his board in their meetings on Jan 12-14 as null and void.
Danny Gonol, who acted for former headmaster of Tambul High School Augustine Kupa and Yaga, said the court decision now affected all appointments of head masters and teachers done by Maip and his board.
He said the challenge was now with the court-reinstated board to make new appointments or confirm the appointments done.
Gonol said the governor might guide and persuade the PEB, but his executive power was limited only to being part of the decision of the executive council, and not arbitrary decision which he might wish to make on his own.