High Court rules against party’s application to strike out an affidavit

Picture: FILE.

The High Court in Lautoka has ruled against an application by the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) to strike out an affidavit filed by former SODELPA Vatukoula Urban Constituency Council president Taitusi Kata and Ilaitia Bavadra against the party’s current members.

According to the court, the former SODELPA members had filed an affidavit on September 8 to oppose Ratu Epenisa Cakobau’s appointment as president of the party.

In the affidavit, Mr Kata said “Ratu Epenisa Cakobau could be safely labelled as a fraudulent president of the second defendant for his presidency was declared by Emele Duituturaga, the fourth defendant who was a general secretary then and who has no lawful authority to chair the management board meeting, unlawfully ousted Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu from chairing that meeting and assumed the position as chairperson of the said meeting”.

The affidavit was opposed by Ratu Epenisa and SODELPA lawyer Romanu Vananalagi, who sought to strike out the affidavit on September 23, during a hearing at the High Court in Lautoka before Justice Anare Tuilevuka.

Mr Vananalagi argued that the new proceedings were an abuse of process and that the matter had already been addressed in February, 2021, when the court had ruled in favour of SODELPA and its executives. In his ruling, Justice Tuilevuka explained that the court had yet to make a final decision on the original summons.

He said nothing had been placed before him by the SODELPA party members to convince him that the issues raised in this case had been dealt with by the court or by any other court.

He ruled that the matter would proceed with Mr Kata and Mr Bavadra to file all relevant documents pertaining to their affidavit.

Justice Tuilevuka also ordered the SODELPA members to pay the pair $1800 in legal costs.

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