Tussle now before court

National, Normal

The National, Thursday 20th September, 2012

THE tussle over the Department for Community Development secretary’s post between Anna Solomon and Joseph Klapat reached the Waigani National Court yesterday.
Solomon has now sought interim injunctions to stop Klapat from resuming office and for Community Development Minister Loujaya Toni to refrain from making new appointments in the department.
Solomon’s lawyer, Jeffery Abone, argued before Justice Catherine Davani that Klapat hijacked the National Executive Council (NEC) by presenting a clearance letter from the Public Services Commission to the Minister for Public Service – thereby clearing all his charges.
The court was told that an investigation report into the conduct of Klapat was completed on Aug 17 and remained valid and the investigation was conducted under the leadership of Solomon, as the acting secretary.
Abone said Solomon was appointed as acting secretary following an NEC decision on Dec 29, 2011, and “that decision gave her the right to be the acting secretary and could conduct investigations against Klapat”.
“If that report was proper and legal, the Public Service Commission should act on the recommendations,” he told the court.
“They have changed their position now. My client’s (Solomon) position is that due process must be followed,” Abone said.
“His (Klapat) got many serious allegations to answer.”
Abone told Davani that Solomon had a case before the court and in order to maintain status quo, Solomon should assume the role as acting secretary.
Klapat’s lawyer, Jasper Amanu, has asked the court to dismiss the application as it was wrongly brought before the court and Klapat should continue as secretary pending the outcome of all the allegations against him.
Justice Davani will make a ruling on the application tomorrow afternoon.