Post Courier, December 23,2015, 01:13 am
|Ousted Governor Anderson Agiru|
'No-one will remove me, only God will remove me'
THE Hela Provincial Assembly members have removed pioneer Governor Anderson Agiru in a vote of no-confidence at the provincial assembly meeting yesterday.
However, Governor Agiru also sought a court order blocking the move claiming that "no-one will remove me, only God will remove me". Justice Derek Hartshorn granted the orders stopping the defendants from meeting yesterday or at any later date until further orders from the court.
The matter returns on January 5 for inter parte hearing as to whether the urgent relief granted should continue. Mr Agiru’s removal was through a special provincial assembly members’ meeting that was chaired by deputy governor and Komo local level government president Thomas Potape.
Eight local level government presidents, Komo-Margarima MP Francis Potape, provincial women’s representative took part in the vote. All have been named as defendants in an urgent court application sought by Agiru earlier in the morning. Mr Agiru, who had been sick was granted leave of absence twice by Parliament to undergo operations in China this year, said he will be referring acting Secretary for Provincial Affairs Mr Dickson Guina to the Ombudsman Commission for giving unlawful advice to the PEC and MP Potape in conducting an illegal meeting.
DEPUTY Governor Potape said the meeting was legal according to the advice they had received from the Provincial and LLG Affairs Department and as deputy governor he called the meeting in accordance with section 11 of the standing orders.
"According to the section 11 of the standing orders of the provincial and LLG affairs, I have the right to conduct such meeting in the absence of the Governor Agiru. We have one agenda and that is to remove Governor Agiru.
"Of the 14 provincial assembly members, we have 10 members and that is more than two thirds of the Assembly Member as required by section 20 (2)(A&B) of the Organic Law on Provincial and Local Level Government and standing order No 8 they have conducted the meeting and moved the motion to remove Governor Agiru," he said. Mr Potape said there were many reasons for Mr Agiru’s removal including his absence in Hela since his election in 2012.
"Our governor is spending all his time in Port Moresby and overseas and running the province on telephone and hearsay," he said.