Sofu survives petition  - Solomon Star News

Sofu survives petition 

18 February 2020
Stanley Festus Sofu.

ELECTION petition case against the Member of Parliament (MP) for East Kwaio Stanley Festus Sofu was dismissed by the High Court Chief Justice Albert Palmer, Monday.

Chief Justice Palmer made his ruling in-front of a packed courtroom on Monday, much to the delight of the supporters of the Sofu.

The election petition was filed on 17th May 2019 by the petitioner Alfred Sasako who was also one of the candidates contesting the East Kwaio parliament seat in the 2019 National General Election.

Sasako who is also the country’s veteran journalist filed the petition against Sofu as the first respondent, the Returning Officer as second respondent and the Presiding Officer for East Kwaio as the third respondent.

Chief Justice Palmer in his judgment stated that there were a total of six separate grounds against Sofu.

Apart from the other four grounds that were withdrawn on the 4th of July 2019, only two grounds were heard.

According to Chief Justice Palmer only the following allegations were heard, bribery by giving cash and bribery by the promise of paying school fees.

When giving his ruling in court yesterday Chief Justice Palmer clearly stated that there is no evidence to support the allegations.

He said that he was satisfied that there was simply no evidence or sufficient evidence to support the claims related to the allegation of bribery by giving cash and the claim should be dismissed.

With the allegation of bribery by promise payment of school fees, Chief Justice Palmer also made the ruling that it should be dismissed due to lack of evidence.

Chief Justice Palmer further stated that the Election filed on 17 May 2019 amended and file on 4th July 2020 is dismissed with costs.

“Dismiss the Election Petition filed on 17 May and amended and filed on 4th July 2019.

“The first, Second and Third Respondents are to have their costs to be taxed if not agreed.

“Direct that a certificate be issued to the Governor-General, Speaker of the National Parliament and the Electoral Commission, confirming the validity of the election of Hon. Stanley Festus Sofu as the duly elected candidate for the East Kwaio Constituency,” Chief Justice Palmer stated in his ruling.

Sofu began his career in national politics when he was elected to parliament as the member for East Kwaio in the April 2006 general election. 

This would be his fourth term in parliament making him one of the longest-serving MP for East Kwaio.

This paper also understands that Sofu is a current member of the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) and is currently receiving medical treatment in Australia.