Cabinet Minister seeks eviction order for family at Tufuiopa

The Minister of Justice and Courts Administration, Fa'aolesa Katopau Ainu’u, is seeking an eviction order for a family living on a portion of land at Tufuiopa, which he alleges belongs to his ancestors. 

Fa’aolesa, who is the Member of Parliament for Vaimauga Sisifo No. 2, together with Te’o Faitele Afamasaga, have filed a civil claim in the Supreme Court to evict Afuvai Norris Siaosi, Meresaini Siaosi Laulu, Lisi Siaosi and Pailagi Poulava, of Tufuiopa. 

Lawyer Seuamuli Sarona Ponfasio is representing Fa’aolesa while lawyer, Alex Su’a, is acting on behalf of the family. 

Supreme Court Judge, Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala Warren, presided on Monday.

The matter, which had been scheduled for a hearing, did not proceed. 

Mr. Su’a told the Court that his clients sought to challenge the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (M.N.R.E.) records alleging the land in question was given to the Minister’s family. 

Justice Tafaoimalo granted an adjournment for the defense counsel to consider whether to join M.N.R.E. as a party to the proceedings. 

The matter has been referred back to civil mention.

According to a statement of claim, the assets of the Estates contain a freehold land Lot 862, Plan 4346 at Tufuiopa named Punapuna. 

It alleges the Minister’s parents gave permission to the defendants' parents to occupy the land pursuant to the plaintiff’s parent’s permission. 

Furthermore, it cited a letter dated 12 May 2017 from the solicitors of the Minister advising the defendants to vacate and remove all their belongings from the land within 30 days from the date of delivery of the letter.  

The letter was received by all the defendants individually on or about 23 May 2017. 

They have not vacated the land as requested by the plaintiffs and had continued to occupy the land. 

Fa’aolesa is seeking an order of possession in favour of the plaintiffs, costs of the legal action and other relief that the Court may deem appropriate. 

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