Judge rules against NBC in land battle

National, Normal


THE National Court in Waigani has granted a default judgment against the National Broadcasting Commission (as second defendant), its managing director Joseph Eleadona (as first defendant) and the State, favouring plaintiff Paga No. 36 Limited as lawful owners of a portion of land in Waigani.
The order relates to a portion of land off Waigani Drive near where the NBC aerial is located in Waigani.
Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika, while presiding over the matter last Wednesday, entered the default judgment in favour of the plaintiff and granted leave to the latter to withdraw its Notice of Motion filed last Oct 22.
The order declared that: “The plaintiff was at all material times the duly registered lessee of the State urban development lease being all that land contained in volume 32 folio 22, being described as portion 2127 Granville, Port Moresby, NCD, and being in respect of an area of 25.81 hectares of land located at Waigani, NCD”.
Justice Salika also ordered:
* A declaration pursuant to the provisions of the said Lease referred to, as a matter of law, the plaintiff (Paga No 36 Ltd) has an obligation to the State to survey the land and conduct improvements on the land or alternatively, as a matter of law, the plaintiff had an obligation to survey the land and effect improvements on the land; and
* An injunction restraining the first and the second defendants’ (Mr Eleadona and NBC respectively) servants, agents (workmen) from threatening with violence or in anyway refusing to permit the plaintiff’s agents onto the land referred to in State lease volume 32 folio 22 portion 2127 Granville, Port Moresby, NCD.
Justice Salika then adjourned the matter to the Listings Court for directions on assessment of damages for loss of the surveyor’s fees thrown away, and for inference with the plaintiff’s contractual relations.
The court also ordered the NBC and the State to bear the costs of this application made on behalf of Paga No. 36 Ltd by its lawyers from Peter Allan Lowing Lawyers.
The Solicitor-General made an appearance for the State but did not have any instructions.