By Edwin Fidelis – EMTV News, Kokopo
The national court in Kokopo yesterday dismissed Sir Leo Dion’s election petition against his successor Nakikus Konga. Justice Collin Makail yesterday called off the case stating it was incompetent. Sir Leo Dion filed an election petition against Konga and the PNG Electoral Commission claiming there were errors done during the counting of the regional seat. But Justice Makail who handed down his decision in the pretrial hearing yesterday stated that the evidence provided by the Lawyers representing Sir Leo Dion were insufficient to prove that Nakikus Konga and the Electoral Commission were at fault.
Sir Leo Dion listed Nakikus Konga and the PNG Electoral Commission as first and second defendants respectively. Since yesterday, Konga managed to survive the case to remain as the rightful governor elect for East New Britain province. Both men completed the race for the East New Britain’s governor’s seat in a relatively close finish, with Nakikus Konga who unseated Sir Leo Dion.
The Dion-Konga case of disputed return is one of two-election petition filed shortly after the 2016 national general elections in East New Britain province. The former Gazelle MP Malakai Tabar and his successor Jelta Wong also went down the same path in January. Malakai Tabar filed an election petition against Jelta Wong over allegations of bribery and errors and omission. The court however found that there were insufficient evidences to prove that the allegations leveled against Mr. Wong were true. The case was dismissed.
Meanwhile, Governor Konga in a short announcement following his victory, says he is now finally settled as the rightful governor elect for East New Britain province and will now deliver what he has promised for the province.