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May 6, 2021
News

Court Grants Temporary Stay on Eviction of UPNG Students

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By Theckla Gunga – EM TV News, Port Moresby

The Waigani National Court has temporarily stayed the eviction of the University of Papua New Guinea students, out of both the Waigani and Taurama campuses.

Presiding Judge, Justice Colin Makail, ruled in the students favor on the grounds that 48 hours Eviction notice given by the UPNG Council, lapses today.

The decision came as a relief for most students, especially the ones from other provinces.

The decision was handed down by Justice Collin Makail at 3:45pm today.

That is 45 minutes after the 48 hours ultimate time given by the UPNG Council to for students to vacant both the Waigani and Taurama Campuses.

On May 24, the UPNG Council suspended semester one of the 2016 academic year.

This came after the students boycotted classes for four weeks, demanding Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, to step down following allegations levelled against him.

This afternoon the UPNG SRC filed two urgent applications.

The first, to stay the eviction of students and the second, to seek leave for a judicial review on the deployment of over 400 police personnel to UPNG.

UPNG SRC Lawyer, Laken Aigilo, submitted that the students had behaved well during the four weeks of boycott and there was no need for such a huge police presence at UPNG.

However, Justice Makail refused that application stating, that though the students had behaved well during the boycott, the possibility of things going out of hand cannot be ruled out.

Thus Justice Makail said police presence will remain until further directions from the court.

For the other party, the lawyers representing the state, they argued that they were short served and had no instructions to respond to the submission.

When the case returns to court next Wednesday, lawyers of both parties will be making submission on the application for leave.

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