Minister rejects claim that Ministry is in "limbo"

The Minister of Justice and Courts Administration (M.J.C.A.), Fa’aolesa Katopau Ainu’u, has rubbished claims that the Ministry of Justice is in “limbo.”

The claim was made by Salega Member of Parliament, Olo Fiti Vaai, who urged Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi to prioritise the appointment of a Chief Justice.

He also called on the Government to address the issue of Chief Executive Officer of M.J.C.A. and the President of the Land and Titles Court.

The Chief Executive Officer, Papali’i John Taimalelagi, was sacked by Cabinet this week following a Public Service Commission (P.S.C.) investigation.

The President of the Land and Titles Court, Fepulea’i Atilla Ropati, on the other hand has been convicted and fined $7,000. He remains on special leave.

Olo said this does not look good for the Ministry of Justice, reiterating that it’s a mess.

Asked for a comment, Minister Fa’aolesa assured there was nothing to be concerned about noting that the Acting Chief Justice and Acting C.E.O. of the Ministry have "full authority" to carry out their work.

Fa’aolesa said whether the appointments were temporary or not, they have the right to carry out their work.

“The (Acting) Chief Justice has been appointed, acting or not, in his capacity he’s the Chief Justice. Even the C.E.O.’s in his capacity as acting, he’s the C.E.O.,” he said.

M.J.C.A. Associate Minister, So’oalo said Justice Vui Clarence Nelson is the Acting President of the Land and Titles Court and Acting Chief Justice.

Fa’aolesa reiterated those acting on temporary appointments have the the Government’s full support to do whatever they need to get done.

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