Family accuses Police of delaying complaints

A family from Falefa has expressed disappointment and accused the Police of delaying the handling of their complaints. 

Aomalu Alaiasa, a 48-year-old mother of 12 from Falefa, told the Samoa Observer that she has filed more than four complaints to the Police since last year and claims the complaints are yet to be addressed. 

But Deputy Police and Prisons Commissioner, Papali'i Monalisa Tiai–Keti, has confirmed that their Domestic Violence Unit is currently responsible for this matter.

“This matter is a result of ongoing tension between two families over Land and Titles Court (L.T.C.) dispute,” she added, in a response to questions from the Samoa Observer.

Mrs. Alaiasa said that an ongoing family dispute between her family and her husband’s cousin Taua’a Vaeu’a Taiamia has led to so many cases filed against them. 

Papalii said the complainant [Mrs. Alaiasa] and the other side [Mr. Taiamia] are related by blood and living on the same land. 

“Both sides including the complainants have lodged complaints with the police," she said. 

“Members from both families have been arrested and charged and are schedule to appear before court.

“Due to the sensitivity of matters such as this one, matters where blood relatives are unable to come to a resolution police will act only if there is any criminality involved and refer matters to the Court.”

She added that it is their hope that the prolong tension between the two families will be resolved in a peaceful, understanding and forgiving manner.

But Mrs. Alaisa said that she feels that she and members of her family have been unfairly treated by Police.

“Due to an ongoing tension between our families, I am saddened that the way the Police officers have handled our cases is not equal because I have lodged four complaints that have not been addressed or handled by Police," she added.

“However, every time Mr. Taiamia files a complaint to police, the matter is always addressed but I feel like maybe because our family is poor and do not have enough money that we are treated so unfairly.”

Last week, Mrs. Alaisa’s husband was taken into custody by Police over his alleged use of insulting words.

“My husband spent his 55th birthday in police custody starting Wednesday afternoon but was only released around 11am of the next day," she said.

“I tried everything, my sister-in-law also helped me in getting the police to release him but the Police said there were no available registrar at the time so they had to keep my husband overnight.

“Mr. Taiamia has caused nothing but troubles for our family, yet we have served our family and village for 30 years. We also welcomed him into the family because he is blood, looked after him by providing for his needs such as food.”

She added that the ongoing dispute has also resulted in a court case between her family and Mr. Taiamia over rights to their guest house which he claimed ownership of after winning the case.

When approached for a comment, Mr. Taiamia said that he was also a victim with the Police not handling his complaints.

“When I filed a complaint to police, they [Mrs. Alaiasa's family] also run and do the same thing and matter…I am a victim and those people are the criminals, these people are under probation," he said. 

“They are after me because of my house but the case is finished and I am the owner according to the Land and Titles Court but they still disturb my mind, those people are not employed, just sitting home and do nothing.” 

A Falefa village spokesperson, Fanualelei Purcell added that the matter involving the two complainants was over the ownership of a guest house.

“The village supported the family who lived on that land in regard to the house, because they served the village and the case went on for months but when the court decision was handed down, Mr. Taiamia who does not contribute or support the church won the case," he said.

“But the village did have a submission but the court has awarded one person and the family who served the village and the village supported them but they still lost the case.”

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