By CHARLES MOI
Chief Inspector Bernard Nepo is seeking a court order to allow him to return as Correctional Service commissioner pending the determination of his appeal in the Supreme Court.
Nepo seeks to stay a decision delivered in the National Court by Justice Colin Makail on May 5 which reinstated Michael Waipo as commissioner.
Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia told parties in Waigani yesterday that the stay application would be heard before a panel of three judges on Wednesday.
Sir Salamo said it was recently his practice to refer stay applications of public interest to a full bench to settle matters.
He said the same panel of judges would also hear the appeal filed by Nepo.
He added that preliminary issues regarding the stay application could be raised at the hearing next Wednesday.
Nepo’s application sought two orders from the court which were;
- Seek an order pursuant to the Supreme Court Act that the decision by Makail delivered on May 5 in judicial review proceedings in the National Court be stayed pending the appeal.
- That pursuant to Section 5 of the Supreme Court Act that Nepo resumes office as commissioner forthwith pending the determination of the appeal.
Waipo filed a judicial review on February 12 which challenged the legality of Cabinet’s decision to revoke his appointment on February 9. On May 5, Makail in the National Court granted the judicial review case in favour of Waipo because Cabinet had failed to comply with the procedure for termination as stated in the Public Services (Management) Act.
The National Court found that Cabinet’s decision to revoke Waipo’s appointment and appoint Nepo in his place had no legal effect and was invalid.
It ordered Waipo be reinstated to his position immediately.
Nepo, aggrieved by the decision to reinstate Waipo, filed an appeal in the Supreme Court on May 23. He also filed an application for stay seeking interim orders pending the determination of his appeal.