PETITION VERDICT - Solomon Star News

PETITION VERDICT
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19 May 2020
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Robertson Galokale (L) has lost his seat whilst Peter Shanel Agovaka (R) retained seat for Central Guadalcanal.


Galokale ousted, Shanel retains seat

By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN

 

SOUTH Choiseul Member of Parliament (MP) and Leader of the Parliamentary Independent Group Robertson Galokale has lost his seat following a High Court ruling on his Election petition, Monday.

This was after Judge Rex Faukona found him guilty of 12 of the 19 bribery allegations against him.

The petitioner Jackson Kiloe who also contested last year’s National General Election lodged the petition against Galokale.

He filed the 19 allegations against Galokale but the court, in the end, found Galokale guilty of 12 allegations.

The 12 briberies occurred at different dates between October 2018 and January 2019 at different villages in South Choiseul.

Galokale through his agents gave various amounts of money from $50 to $500 to several people including solar products and a cooking pot.

The total amount of money handed out was $2,750.

Three bribery allegations were withdrawn prior to the trial and four were struck off after the trial.

Galokale was the third MP to have lost his seat so far following the election petition case rulings in the High Court.

Former northeast Guadalcanal MP Jamie Vokia and former Central Honiara MP Moffat Fugui lost their seat early this year.

Galokale won the 2019 election with 999 votes.

Also in court on Monday, Central Guadalcanal MP and Minister of Communications & Aviation, Peter Shanel Agovaka retains his seat after the petition against him was dismissed.

Judge Emmanuel Kouhota dismissed the remaining four bribery allegations against him.

The petitioner George Vari, a voter in the Central Guadalcanal constituency lodged the petition against Agovaka.

One bribery allegation was immediately dismissed at the start of the trial when the petitioner’s witness failed to turn up in court to give evidence.

Agovaka polled 3,584 votes in last year’s election.

 

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