An opposition Member of Parliament, Olo Fiti Vaai, has called for a Commission of Inquiry to investigate what he describes as a “mess” inside the Ministry of Police.
Following the arrest of Police Commissioner, Fuiavailiili Egon Keil yesterday, Olo said an Inquiry is long overdue to clean up the system.
“These internal fights between police officers have been going on for a long time,” Olo told the Samoa Observer.
The Member of Parliament is worried that members of the public can no longer feel safe in the hands of Police.
“How can they investigate people and go out to deal with the public if they cannot deal with their internal issues? Just like the Samoan saying, fix what is happening within your home before you go out fixing other people’s problems.”
The division within the police force is something that should not be taken lightly, he added.
Olo compared the situation to that of an historical event in the political history of Samoa where a Cabinet Minister was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy between two fellow H.R.P.P. members.
“If we do not fix this someone might die from it,” said the M.P.
“We all know what happened in the past about the Minister who was murdered. We should never forget about the past and if this problem is not fixed people will die from it and the government has done little to resolve it.”
From his observation, Olo said the Minister in charge, the Prime Minister and Cabinet should be blamed.
“They knew about it from years ago,” he said.
“This is not new in the Ministry of Police.
How many times have we seen anonymous letters from police officers in the past about internal matters at the Ministry?
“All those letters were addressed to the Minister and the Prime Minister and all they did was brush them aside without really looking into the things that were raised.
“The writers of those letters were not gossipers as they said. They were trying to alert the leaders of our country of the internal issues that they did not see and only heard rumours of.
“The Minister in charge should have done something about it and take the accusations seriously instead of falling asleep and not doing his job to fix the internal issues of his Ministry.”
Olo said it is “disgraceful” to see Police officers turn on each other.
“It is such a disgrace that these internal issues are making headlines internationally,” he said.
“It’s a reflection of bad leadership from the Ministry, the Minister and the government.
“I mean we have a Parliament with more than three quarter membership held by the Human Rights Protection Party.
I cannot believe it if not one of them is aware of these internal issues.
It’s either they are all asleep or just being ignorant.”
On the other hand, Olo said if the Police Commissioner was suspended through a Cabinet directive (F.K.) the reinstatement should also come from them.
He alleged that the reinstatement of Fuiavailiili was done solely by the Prime Minister without the consent of Cabinet.
“How can you make a decision in one case based on a FK and another made by FP,” said Olo.
“Now that is what you call fiapule for him (Tuilaepa) to make the decision on his own and that decision is causing problems with Police.”
Asked to explain what F.P stands for, Olo said it means “Fa’aiuga Palemia” which translates, decision by the Prime Minister.
An email sent to the Attorney General, Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff was not responded to at press time.
Lemalu is overseas and the email was also forwarded to Acting A.G., Noumea Loretta Teueli. She did not respond.
It was not possible to get a comment from the Minister of Police, Sala Fata Pinati last night.
Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi is overseas. He left on Friday last week for Morocco.