The National, Tuesday October 15th, 2013
By FREDDY MOU
THE Supreme Court has indefinitely adjourned an election petition by Sam Abal challenging the victory of Robert Sandan Ganim as Wabag MP.
Justice Steven Kassman was supposed to hear the case last Wednesday but was away in Mendi for his circuit rounds.
Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia was then to sit in his place but he was unable to prepare himself in time for the session after just arriving from overseas the previous night.
The matter was then adjourned “indefinitely”, according to the Supreme Court registry.
The National Court had on July 16 thrown out the election petition filed by Abal against Ganim in its entirety.
Justice Derreck Hartshorn found that the petition did not fully comply with section 208 of the Organic Law on National and Local Level Government Elections.
The court found that allegations other than bribery and undue influence were not pleaded as expected and pleadings relating to illegal practices and errors and omissions should be struck out.
On the allegations of holding double office – that Ganim did not resign as advisor for education in Enga before being nominated in 2012 – the court found that qualifications were not competency issue and should be struck out.
“Given that I have found that all the grounds of the petition should be struck out, the petition be dismissed,” Justice Hartshorn stated in a nine-page ruling handed down on July 16.
Abal then took the matter to the Supreme Court.