The former Secretary General of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa, Reverend Dr. Afereti Uili, who was sacked over a sex allegation against him, remains tightlipped about his future.
Following reports that the woman who made the allegation is now on the run, Rev. Uili declined to comment on what his next step would be with regards to the decision by the Church to strip him of his roles in relation to the allegation.
“I’m waiting for two more weeks until it’s called again and maybe then you will get the full details,” Rev. Uili told the Samoa Observer.
“In the meantime, I’m not in a position to comment. All I can say is that I am still part of the church.”
Rev. Uili was contacted for a comment following the hearing of a lawsuit he brought against the woman who made the allegation. The lawsuit was referred to mediation.
Rev. Uili said the outcome of the mediation was "successful" but it is confidential.
In Court earlier this week, lawyer, Alalatoa Rosella Papali’i, admitted that her client “seems to be on the run.”
“I have left countless messages with her to get in touch with us and also the contact people,” said the lawyer. “She has not turned up.”
Rev. Uili was represented by lawyer, Semi Leung Wai. Following an agreement during the mediation on 10 June 2016, Mr. Leung Wai had sought the consent to file the mediation agreement as a judgment of the Court.
But Chief Justice, His Patu Tiava’asue Falefatu Sapolu, said this could not be done without the woman.
He then adjourned the matter until 22 August.
Earlier this year, the Church stripped all roles from Rev. Uili over the allegation. The Elders Committee removed the General Secretary role and suspended him from all his ministerial duties for five years. As a result, Church had to appoint a new General Secretary.
“The decision by the Committee that monitors ethics and behavior of workers was based on evidence presented (before them) about his behavior,” Committee member, Rev. Elder Soti said at the time.
“Even though Afereti denies the allegation, the girl involved has told us otherwise.”
Asked for a comment at the time, Rev. Uili protested his innocence.
“My argument is this, I’m innocent, I haven’t done anything wrong. There has been no proof for these allegations,” he said.
“The decision they’ve made is based on their opinion that I have sinned but I strongly reject the allegation. Not only do I reject the allegation, as far as I’m concerned, nothing has been proven.”
When the allegation was initially made, Rev. Uili said he had pleaded with the Elders Committee to consider them carefully especially because none of it is true.
“I strongly reject them but it seems like they’ve made their decision based on their belief that the allegation is correct and I’m wrong.
Rev. Uili added that he harboured no ill feelings towards the Church and the Committee.
“Although I’ve been removed from the church, it doesn’t mean I hate the church. No, the Church belongs to Jesus Christ where God works through to reach people.
“There are things that happen in churches from time to time and decisions are made by people for people. When it comes to people, they make decisions based on what they feel is right.”
Lastly, he reiterated that the decision is premature.
“The decision is baseless. They should have attempted to determine if there is any truth to the allegation first before they came up with the decision. It has had a huge impact on me and my family.”
It was not possible to get a comment from the Chairman of the Elders Committee yesterday.