Sogi land fight awaits verdict

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene 11 March 2018, 12:00AM

A family at Sogi fighting a Government eviction notice will find out in in six weeks whether they can remain on the land they claim as rightfully theirs.

The hearing of the Tokuma Family land claim against the Samoa Land Corporation has been adjourned by Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke, to await a decision.

On Friday, the lawyers presented their final submissions.

Pa’u Tafaogalupe Mulitalo, who is representing the Turaroe descendants, told the Court that the Tokuma family should not have to leave the land.

Referring to the leader of the family, Nanai Tokuma, he said Sogi is the only home he has known all his life.

“Nanai Tokuma had lived on the disputed land all his life since he was born in 1940,” said Mulitalo.

“Furthermore, Percival Earnest Patrick authorised the late Turaroe’s family to live on the land where they have built a house until today.

“And even though the Government claimed the land belongs to them, they did nothing to evict the Tokuma family all these years, but instead they stepped back and allowed this family to live on the land.”

Lawyers, Tafailagi Peniamina and David Fong, represented the Samoa Land Corporation and the Ministry of Public Enterprises.

Mr. Fong’s closing submission argued that Nanai’s evidence is all hearsay.

“He was not there regardless of the information he had provided,” said Mr. Fong.

“He is 78 years old now and in his evidence he was about 12 to 13 years old when his father told him these stories.

“So I believe that he was very young and given the time frame it has been more than decades.

“This is hearsay and I think the Court should take into consideration that this information are not admissible and reliable.”

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene 11 March 2018, 12:00AM

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