M.P. in bar row
Member of Parliament, Olo Fiti Vaai, is outraged by the Liqour Board’s decision to shut his Bar, the Blacknose, at the Faleata Sports Complex during one of the busiest times of the year.
So angry he has vowed to fight the Liqour Board’s decision all the way to the Court.
“I will not tolerate unfairness coming from the Liquor Board,” he said. “I will take them to Court if I have to, not because I want to, but because of the legality surrounding their reasons, which I find very insulting to say the least.”
The Liquor Board closed the Blacknose Bar during the weekend.
In a letter from the Secretary of the Liquor Board, Epi Leo Tuimauga, to Olo dated 31 August 2017, the bar was ordered to be shut right away.
“The conclusion follows a written report from the Ministry of Police in relation to a incident involving Security of Blacknose Bar who assaulted a customer,” the letter reads.
“The incident occurred on June 23, 2017. This is not the first time that such an incident has occurred at the Blacknose Bar.
“It’s evident that you (Olo) does not adhere to the laws governing alcohol. The issues have been addressed to you directly with the Board.
“For these reasons, you are asked to close down your Blacknose Bar.”
Asked for a comment, Olo said the decision is “unfounded.”
“There are fights in all of the bars in our country, why haven't those clubs been ordered to close down?
“I don’t get why I have been asked to close down my bar over the actions of an employee. It just doesn’t make any sense at all.”
Olo said his bar always complies with requirements from the Liqour Board. The incident between the security officer was an internal matter, he added.
“This is an internal matter and my Blacknose Bar should not be affected over the actions of an employee, namely a security who they claimed assaulted a customer.
“This matter is pending in Court and yet they have made their decision based on the report of the Police.
“My club is being closed due to the actions of an employee, whom in reality I cannot control.
“I am not saying my security officer is guilty now do I allow this type of behavior.
“But my point is, if they are closing down my club due to a fight, then they should do the same to the other clubs where there are always fights?”
Olo said with the Teuila Week this week, patrons of his Club are disappointed.
He said he wants this matter cleared up before the end of the week.
“I will fight my case in the Court but I must adhere to their demands at this time.”
Attempts to get a comment from the Minister of Revenue, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, who is also the Chairman of the Liquor Board, were unsuccessful at press time.