The National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate have revealed a false declaration of the 2014 Madang By-Election after results did not reconcile.
Yama claimed the National Court’s decision with the final results was unsatisfactory and vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court on this ruling.
Complainant Peter Yama, a candidate then, laid a complaint with the PNG Electoral Commission and the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate.
After almost three years in court, the final outcome of the investigations by the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate has revealed irregularities.
Yesterday, the appointed returning officer for the Madang Open By-Election, Simon Sinai, was arrested; on one count each, of false declaration, perjury and official corruption.
On August 6, 2014, the Madang National Court ruled in favour of petitioner Peter Yama after the election process integrity was questioned.
This then led to a By-Election where Simon Sinai was appointed as returning officer.
On record of this broadcast, the recount was conducted at the Jomba catholic Hall using the electronic and manual system…with the recount results be returned to the national court on September 2.
On August 26, the Madang open electorate judiciary ordered recount commence.
It was confirmed the 6116 disputed ballot papers found at the Madang cemetery was to be counted and tallied separately as court exhibits.
As the counting progressed, scrutineers and raise a concern on the increase exhausted ballot papers which questioned the integrity of electoral laws.
However, Assistant Court Registrar Baka Bina explained: “a court-ordered recount the PNG Electoral Commission must comply with.”
All errors and omissions must be raised with the court.
The Returning Officer suspended the recount after lawyers of both parties Duban and Yama failed to turn up for the briefing.
Mr Sinai was surprised same time raised concerned of such incidents happening in Madang, of live ballot papers found in ballot boxes.
In September, the Madang recount, finally concluded, with Returning Officer Simon Sinai disclosing figures with Nixon Duban with 15002 and Peter Yama on 13557..and the results be returned to the National court for the final decision.
This didn’t go well with Peter Yama who later filed affidavits for contempt of court.
On October 8, the Madang National Court declared Nixon Philip Duban as the legitimate MP.
Justice Sir Bernard Sakora made the ruling based on reports submitted by the Assistant Court Register, Baka Bina and Returning Officer Simon Sinai.
The judiciary ordered recount concluded with Mr Duban leading with fifteen thousand, two.
Petitioner Peter Yama then vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court on this ruling.
He told EMTV News, while there’s respect for Nixon Duban, as the duly elected MP, he will challenge the decision based on the returning officer’s report, Simon Sinai, that his 2881 ballot papers from box 27, were excluded.
Yama’s lawyer Nickson Kiuk told EMTV News, not served the recount results report to make any objection, because of Mr Sinai’s late submission of the report.
Mr Sinai responded to EMTV via mobile text messages…“ Yama’s box and exhausted box were unused, that were not counted in the previous court in 2013. Ballot boxes were opened and exposed to the public, not good to count that needs to be justified.
Complainant Peter Yama went ahead and challenged Nixon Duban’s win through the court of disputed returns: EP No, 12 of 2014.
The court ruled in his favour and ordered a recount with the following specific orders.
1. All votes were to be recounted including votes from 6, 116 ballot papers discovered at the Madang cemetery
2. The recount was to be conducted both electronically and manually
It is alleged Mr Sinai after counting the primary votes, directed the IT officers to pack the electronic counting machine and have it sent to Port Moresby.
It is further alleged there after he manipulated the results of the votes counted manually.
Investigations by NFACD investigators confirmed the results as Peter Yama 16,654 and Nixon Duban 15,002.
During the record of interview at NFACD Sinai also confirmed the final results when questions were put to him.
For the charge of official corruption, he was arrested. He was taken to Boroko Police Station cells be locked up after completing the arrest procedures.