CONSTITUTIONAL CASE FILED AGAINST PRESIDENT, PM

Former PSC Chairman Martin Mahe. Photo: File

Former chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC), Martin Mahe, has officially registered his Constitutional case against President Obed Moses Tallis and Prime Minister Bob Loughman.

The application has the Head of State as First Respondent, PM Loughman as second respondent and the State as third respondent.

Mr. Mahe is applying for the enforcement of his fundamental rights, redress and a declaration that the purported Removal Notice issued by President Tallis on 29 June 2020 is unlawful and in breach of his constitutional rights and an infringement of the Constitution.

Mahe was both a member of and chairperson of the PSC for several years and remunerated for those roles under the Official Salaries Act (OSA).

On 24 April, 2O2O the Attorney General advised Loughman that the re-appointment of Mahe as PSC chairman on 2 April 2O2O was lawful.

That same month, Mahe was charged with a number of offences as a result of an alleged incident on 4 April 2O2O. The applicant always vehemently denied any offences committed and alleged the charges arose as a result of political interference.

On 11 June, 2021 the Supreme Court dismissed all charges against him. Consequent upon an appeal by the Prosecutor, the Court of Appeal upheld the Supreme Court’s prior decision, dismissing all charges. By letter dated 5 June, 2O2O PM Loughman had invited the President to exercise his powers under Section 9B(2)(e) of the Act and remove Mahe as Chairman PSC. On the same date, President Tallis declined to exercise his power of removal as he requested further information to assist his decision making.

On the 29th of June, the President purported to exercise power and removed Mahe as a member of the PSC and also his role as Chairman.

Mahe asserts the purported exercise of the power of removal by the President was an infringement of his constitutional rights, the Constitution and there is no evidence or lack of substantial evidence or grounds to satisfy the President entitling his removal.

As a result of his removal by the President, he has suffered loss and damage.

The former PSC chairman now seeks the following remedies: damages to be assessed and determined, including balance salary for his term as chairman and member of PSC, annual leave payments, other allowances, gratuities, loss of opportunity and other lawful entitlements under the OSA.

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