CHIEF Justice Sir Gibbs Salika has ordered a cabinet minister not to interfere with the administration of the University of Goroka (UOG).
The order was handed down in the National Court in Waigani on Friday following an application by the university council to stay the gazettal notices issued by the Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Wesley Raminai, who had appointed an interim university council and an acting vice-chancellor.
Raminai had appointed a new university council with Dr Teng Waninga as the acting Vice-Chancellor to replace Professor Musawe Sinabare.
Sir Gibbs also ordered the current university council headed by Chancellor Joseph Sukwianomb and the UOG administration headed by Vice-Chancellor Sinebare to continue to perform their duties and responsibilities to ensure the university’s academic programme continued to function smoothly.
The order is in force pending the determination of the substantive matter in the National Court.
Sir Gibbs fixed April 29 as the date for the matter to return to court for inter-parte hearing on the stay order application.
Raminai in the gazettal notices appointed an interim UOG council headed by former Motor Vehicle Insurance Limited chief executive officer Joe Wemin and his Vice-Chancellor candidate Dr Teng Waninga.
Last Friday, Waninga and his supporters carrying the gazettal notice went into the university campus and conducted a forum before entering the administration building.
He met Sinebare, pro-vice chancellors Donald Gumbis and Dr Sam Najike in the vice-chancellor’s office.
Waninga insisted that he was the acting vice-chancellor because Raminai had appointed him.
He demanded that he be allocated an office in the administration building.
But Prof Sinebare said the university was operating under the University of Goroka Act which stated that the vice-chancellor was to be appointed by the University of Goroka Council and not the minister.
He said the minister could only appoint a vice-chancellor in an emergency situation.
Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology secretary Fr Jan Czuba was not informed of the changes.
Prof Sinebare advised that serving such notices to revoke a vice-chancellor’s appointment could only be done by the head of the university council.
Waninga, despite being advised against occupying an office space in the administration building, moved in yesterday.
The National / PNGEducationNews
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