High court grants leave to NHC tenants

National, Normal

The National, Monday 6th May 2013

 A THREE-man Supreme Court bench comprising Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika and justices Allan David and Sao Gabi last Friday granted leave to 64 aggrieved tenants of a National Housing Corporation (NHC) flat in Port Moresby to appeal their eviction.

The tenants led by George Kakas reside at the NHC flats at Gordon identified as allotment 3, section 97, Hohola.

Salika, on behalf of David and Gabi told a packed court room there were issues that needed to be tried.

While there was jubilation outside court, NHC lawyer Moses Philip told residents that the title of the property had been issued to the purchaser, Lae-based businessman Mathew Minape, and it would be a daunting legal battle.

The residents took NHC, Minape and his Money Talks Ltd company to court arguing against eviction from the property after it was sold to Money Talks.

This was in 2008.

Salika said the matter went through the usual court process from the time of the filing of the originating summons to have it ready for trial.

But on July 19, 2010 the National Court dismissed the entire proceeding ex parte for want of prosecution when the residents and their lawyers failed to turn up in court when the matter was called.

When the residents discovered that on the same day, they filed an application to set aside the court orders which ultimately dismissed their proceedings. 

The application was, however, dismissed at the National Court in October 2010 and the residents led by Kakas filed a Supreme Court appeal in December.

Two weeks later, Minape and his Money Talks company filed a notice of objection to competency of the tenants’ notice of appeal.