By JULIA DAIA BORE
LAWYERS for the parties involved in the court case on the removal of the financial powers of the East Sepik provincial government by the Ministry of Finance and Treasury have verbally agreed to withdraw the proceeding this week, The National reports.
This followed an affidavit filed last Thursday by Solicitor-General Neville Devete that there was no legal instrument in place to effectively legalise the removal of financial powers of the East Sepik government.
Devete's affidavit said: "I am instructed that there are no National Executive Council or ministerial decisions to withdraw the financial powers of the East Sepik provincial government.
"I am instructed that the allegations that the financial powers of the ESPG have been removed are an outright lie.
"I am further instructed that the treasurer and MP Don Polye, on Aug 12, by an internal memo, requested the acting secretary for Finance to prepare necessary instruments that may become relevant to effecting the withdrawal of financial powers for two provincial governments."
The two included the East Sepik and Morobe provincial governments.
Following this, government lawyers wrote to the East Sepik government asking it to withdraw the proceedings on the basis that the proceeding was "mere speculation" and had no basis.
Lawyer for the East Sepik government, Rimbink Pato, of Steels Lawyer, said last Thursday he would advise his clients to withdraw the proceedings but that had yet to be done.
Last Thursday, the parties waited to be heard in court, however, presiding judge Justice Ambeng Kandakasi was not available.
Last Wednesday, Kandakasi told the East Sepik government he would not entertain further hearing on the matter until there were legal documents presented to him proving that the government's powers were indeed "withdrawn".