Tokuma family fights eviction application

A family the Government wants evicted from Sogi is not going away without a fight.

This week, the Tokuma family responded to the application by the Samoa Land Corporation to have them evicted by asking the Court not to grant the application. 

In doing so, it continues the long standing legal battle between the Tokuma family and the Government over land at Sogi, which the Government wants to use to build a market.

The Tokuma family's lawyer, Unasa Iuni Sapolu, filed the family's response.

In opposing the Government's application, Aiga Tokuma and her family claim the land at Sogi is theirs, arguing that they had reclaimed at least 20 acres of swamp land being disputed.

 The family claimed that S.L.C. is unwilling to enter negotiations at each party’s own volition rather than being forced to enter such negotiations. 

“That in response to paragraph [6](b), the extensive delay was also caused by the plaintiff’s unconscionable conduct in attempting to force the defendant to move, despite the defendant believing she and her family have claims in equity to remain on the land,” reads the family's response.

“…It is unfathomable and exaggerating for the plaintiff to claim having “suffered mental anguish as a result of the defendant’s actions” when the plaintiff is a non-living/non-human legal entity, that is, a company. 

“The inconvenience and distressed has been self-inflicted by the plaintiff due to their unconscionable conduct.” 

The Tokuma family has also asked the Court not to issue an interim order sought by S.L.C. 

“That no permanent orders be granted for possession of land to the plaintiff and an eviction order against the defendant,” states the Tokuma family response.  

“That no order for damages for distress, inconvenience and mental anguish be granted.”  

On 14 February the Supreme Court issued an ex-parte interim prohibition order for Aiga Tokuma and her family of Sogi to prohibit the family from trespassing the Samoa Land Corporation land.  

“That the defendants are restrained from interfering at any time with Government works being carried out on the Land commencing from the date of this Order and/or until further orders of the Court,” states the order.

Police were called in to assist the S.L.C. in the previous weeks while the Corporation moved to survey the land for the relocation of the Savalalo market. 

Aiga Tokuma and her family say they will not move.

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