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Sogi families given final deadline

The last families remaining in Sogi have been given a final deadline to relocate.

They have until the last day of this year, 31 December 2019, the Chief Executive Officer of Samoa Land Corporation, Ulugia Petelo Kevesi, told the Samoa Observer.  

The new deadline replaces the one the Government had set earlier this year which expired in September.

According to the C.E.O., this is the absolute final deadline.

Among the families remaining on the land at Sogi is the Tokuma family, which has been engaged in an ongoing battle with the Government, over the land in question.

The Tokuma family had lost a lawsuit against the Government and an appeal against the decision.

Now the Government wants them to leave for good.

 “They have to leave by 31st of December,” reiterated Ulugia.

Asked what they would do if the families still do not move by the deadline, Ulugia said they would be removed.

When the Commissioner of Police, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil, was asked if the Police would be involved, he said they will not evict anyone unless they are given instructions from the Office of the Attorney General.

 “We will act, but only within the lines of the law and to date there have been no legal documents allowing us to move in and remove those families,” Fuiava said.

 “They Attorney General’s office has yet to provide us with legal documents, therefore we will not act at the moment.

“It does not matter who gives the directive to remove those families, unless is it well within the fine line of the law, the Police will not act.”

The Government is looking to relocate the Savalalo market to Sogi.

Ulugia told this newspaper that the families “have interfered” with Government’s work.

Two months ago, the Tokuma defiantly told the Samoa Observer they will not move.

“They can dig a mass grave and bury us in it, or kill us," said Ms. Tokuma.

"Only then they [the Government] can occupy this land; but we will not go down without a fight.”

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