A complaint from a 65-year-old against a businessman in relation to a piece of land at Matautu-uta is likely to head to Court.
Tuilimu Tile Tiava’asu’e has sought the help from a lawyer after his family received an eviction notice, ordering them to vacate the property they have known as home for the past 47 years.
Tuilimu had contacted the Samoa Observer to express his disappointment about the handling of the matter.
His hope is to raise awareness among other unsuspecting residents who might be in a similar position as him.
According to Tuilimu, they have been living on the land since 1968, as a result of a deal with Sione Ah Kuoi.
“We had a deal with Mr. Ah Kuoi at that time that we can live on the land and build our home on it,” he said. “Part of the deal was that when he is ready to sell it he will sell it to us.”
The deal, however, did not go as planned.
“Mr. Ah Kuoi sold the land to the Chan Mows without us knowing. I cannot remember the year that Mr. Ah Kuoi had sold the land to Chan Mow but when we confronted him, he said for us to talk to the Chan Mows.”
Since then, Tuilimu said he had been speaking to Komisi Chan Mow.
However, about three months ago, Tuilimu said they received a letter from the Chan Mows ordering them to leave.
“I don’t know why they want to remove us,” he said.
“We have been living here for so long. I went and got a lawyer and so we consulted with our lawyer that we will move out on one condition. That is for Chan Mow to give us money for our assets.”
Tuilimu did not disclose the value of their assets. But he said they have spent their lives developing the property.
“By way of background about this property, when we first lived here, there was no dry place,” he said. “This was all swamp land.
“We spent money to bring over trucks with soil and rocks to level this whole place out. So for them to tell us to move out without anything to repay us is just not right.”
Tuilimu said he is willing to fight all the way to the Court, assuring he and his family will not move out quietly.
“There has got to be some justice somewhere,” he said. “I feel that we haven’t been treated right.”
It was not possible to get a comment from Sione Ah Kuoi.
But on behalf of the Chan Mows, Anufesaina Grace Chan Mow, said the matter is with their lawyer.
“That land belongs to the company and I don’t know what deal Tuilimu had with those people before,” she said. “We also gave them land that they can go to but they didn’t want to, so we don’t know what more they want.”
Asked about the compensation claim by Tuilimu, Anufesaina said the claim is with their lawyer.
“Their lawyer sent our lawyer a letter saying that we should pay for all their assets … we cannot pay for anything that we weren’t aware of.”
Anufesaina added that a deal was made between them that no permanent asset would be built on the land.
“When we entered into the lease as well, we told them nothing permanent (could be built) because it’s not their land,” she said.
“We sent them a letter of termination last year in October and so they should’ve moved out in December but they are still there.”
Asked about the family threatening to take the matter to the Court, Anufesaina said that is their right.
“We have no problem if that’s where they want to settle this,” she said.
“We have no problem at all because we have all the documents.”