Supreme Court asked to remove Manager

By Pai Mulitalo Ale ,

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KEY MEMBERS: The dispute involves two senior H.R.P.P members, Peseta Vaifou Tevaga and Laauli Leuatea Polata'ivao.

KEY MEMBERS: The dispute involves two senior H.R.P.P members, Peseta Vaifou Tevaga and Laauli Leuatea Polata'ivao. (Photo: File)

The Supreme Court has set a date for the hearing of an application to remove a Court-appointed interim manager for Local Partners and Associates Company.

The date was set by Supreme Court Justice Lesatele Rapi Va’ai this week.

The matter in question relates to the dispute involving senior H.R.P.P Members of Parliament, Peseta Vaifou Tevaga and the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, La'auli Leauatea Polata’ivao. Also involved are shareholders Apulu Lance Polu and Martin Schwalger.

The Associate Minister Peseta Vaifou Tevaga is represented by Leulua’iali’i Olinda Woodroffe. La’auli, Apulu and Martin are represented by lawyer, Semi Leung Wai.

The matter was called for mention on Tuesday.

But Leulua’iali’i instead filed an interim application to remove the Court’s appointed manager for L.P.A. 

Leulua’iali’i claimed the appointed manager was having problems finding funds to pay for the ongoing expenses of the company. 

She noted that most of the money belonging to the company remains unaccounted for and this is a concern to her client, whose land has been used as collateral, for a loan. 

“We have filed all the receipts of the payments made by other clients to another company who is not local partners,” said Leulua’iali’i. 

She claimed that some payments have been made to one of the defendant’s wife which she shouldn’t be receiving as she is not part of the company. 

They provided a bank statement with its remaining balance of $1,700, but they don’t know where the rest of money has gone.

In response, Mr. Leung Wai told the Court he did not expect the application from Peseta’s lawyer.

Mr. Leung Wai recalled that in September this year, they were called in chamber to discuss the matter with the Manager. Since then, it seems nothing has been done about it by Leuluai and her team. He suggested that the matter be adjourned until 16 January 2017. 

Justice Lesatele said he has been notified that the company’s account has been frozen and yet there had been no order by the Court to freeze the account.

However, Leuluaiali’i clarified that the Local Partners and Associates account has a balance of only $1,700 and the rest of the payments have been paid cash to those who are not part of the company. 

She also said it is not relevant for the defense counsel to say that they had done nothing.

Justice Lesatele accepted the application filed by the plaintiff and set an urgent hearing date for this matter to be called on the 18 January 2017. 

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