Landowner leadership tussle continues in court

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 24th April 2013

 THE leadership tussle over the chairmanship of the Kurumbukari landowners in Madang is continuing in court.

Former chairman Toby Bare had sought a judicial review of the landowners association’s election process which, he claimed, did not follow due process. He had cited defects in the lead-up to the election process culminating in the election of Mathew Dengua.

However, Bare was told that he had failed to summon the Electoral Commission and the Minerals Resources Authority (MRA) who were the facilitators of the election exercise.

Bare also cited elements of the general standing order in the Public Service Act with regards to public servants “wearing two hats” in his affidavit.

Bare, who appeared before Justice Gavera Nanu, sought an extension to prepare for the hearing.

In his ruling, Nanu said: “Your documentation is not in order. It is clear that this matter is not a matter for judicial review. It is supposed to be a matter for official government bodies to deliberate on.”

Nanu looked the documents over and concluded that the matter was not be subjected to a court trial but be looked at by those in authority at the provincial level.

“I will give time to Bare to correct the necessary documents to file and serve by April 26. 

“By May 10, the court will make another assessment to see if the documents are in their proper forms.”

A relieved Bare was also asked to find a lawyer for his next appearance.

Bare had also alleged that Dengua, a former police inspector, had used a government vehicle to campaign and did not resign from his current job.

Dengua testified that the allegations were baseless and that he had won by a majority vote of 10 unopposed as opposed to Bare who managed only six.