Yama’s appeal to re-open case dismissed

National, Normal


A SUPREME Court appeal by Madang businessman Peter Yama to re-open the Supreme Court proceedings regarding the election petition, on the Madang provincial seat was dismissed yesterday by the Waigani Supreme Court.
Mr Yama made the application to seek leave of the court to re-open the matter and disqualify Justice Catharine Davani, from presiding among the three-man Supreme Court panel upon issues of bias or real likelihood of bias on the part of Justice Davani.
But the court dismissed the appeal at its initial stage when it found that there were no proper mode to follow in dealing with such matter.
The court also ordered that the applicant is at liberty to bring the matter to the directions of court for it to determine on how the matter should proceed.
Mr Yama initially alleged in his appeal that Justice Davani, who was one of the three-judge Supreme Court panel that presided on the appeal by Sir Arnold against him (Yama), was seen chatting with Sir Arnold at the Madang Resort hotel few months ago.
Mr Yama alleged that it was a highly suspicious act as the decision of the Supreme Court was still pending and Justice Davani was one of the judges in the proceedings.
Seven affidavits were filed in support of Mr Yama by witnesses who saw Sir Arnold and Justice Davani talking at the car park area of the resort.
Mr Yama alleged that Sir Arnold also made a public announcement at a retreat at the Madang Resort, informing all the provincial government workers that the decision on the application of judicial review, which he sought was made in his favor and he had already won the case.
Mr Yama said on that basis, he feared possible bias might involve in the pending decision and therefore, he was seeking to disqualify Justice Davani from making any decision in the matter apart from the two other judges on the pending Supreme Court decision.
Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika and Justice Elias Batari were the two other judges who presided on the matter.
Mr Yama’s council Philip Ame relied on section 155, sub-section 4 of the constitution to seek leave to re-open the matter and disqualify Justice Davani from the panel. 
However, the Supreme Court presided by the same judges found that there was no proper procedures or mode to proceed with the matter and ordered that the appeal be dismissed.