Naru remains Morobe governor

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The National, Wednesday 27th March, 2013

KELLY Naru remains the governor of Morobe.
An elections petition against him by former governor Luther Wenge, who finished runner-up for the Morobe regional seat in last year’s national election, was dismissed yesterday by Justice Nicholas Kirriwom.
Sitting in the Court of Disputed Returns, Kirriwom said the evidence supporting the petition was fabricated by witnesses.
Kirriwom said in his ruling that “pleadings in the petition had not improved with the evidence that was tendered” in court.
Kirriwom said Ans Wanaro, one of the key witnesses for Wenge in relation to a K25,000 bribery allegation against Naru during an election rally at Aseki, Morobe, was “not a truthful witness and could not be believed”.
“He (Wanaro) deliberately lied to the court. Police must investigate this person for possible perjury charges.”
Kirriwom said the rest of the allegations against Naru were inter-linked to the K25,000 allegation and were unnecessary, costly and had no proper grounds.
“All other witnesses called by the petitioner have given fabricated stories and all their evidence were nothing but deliberate lies,” the judge said.
“They must all be investigated for possible perjury charges against them.
“Those witnesses are Timex Ango Weto, Henry Heno, Simon Sakai, Moses Kami, Benny Okam, Simon Yalamu, Giob Tomis, Jerry Weko, Kaso Tanso and Solomon Sakai.
“I find that the petitioner has not satisfied the onus of proof placed upon him in all his grounds in the petition and, as such, the petition must fail.”
Kirriwom dismissed the petition and ordered Wenge to pay the respondent’s legal cost.
Naru, surrounded by supporters after leaving the courtroom, said he was humbled by the decision and said God had heard the cries and worries of the people of Morobe.
“The outcome of the court is good for the children of Morobe. It shows that we have a vibrant justice system in the country,” Naru said.
“I extend the olive branch to Wenge and my other Morobean brothers,” he said.
Naru urged other Morobean elites and leaders to stop the political infighting and work with him for the benefit of the province.