Government files strike out motion

By Lanuola Tupufia – Ah Tong 22 November 2016, 12:00AM

The Office of the Attorney General has filed a strike out motion against a claim from the Tokuma family over land they believe is rightfully theirs at Sogi. 

Lawyers Bridgitta Fa’afifita and Ryan Masinalupe appeared in the Supreme Court yesterday. They are representing the Samoa Land Corporation and the Ministry of Public Enterprises in the hearing.  

Lawyer Pau Tafaogalupe Mulitalo appeared on behalf of the Tokuma family. 

Justice Vui Clarence Nelson presided.

During the Supreme Court civil mention yesterday, Pau asked for an adjournment to file a response to the motion to strike out. 

He told the Court he has just received a response from the A.G’s office and will need time to file a response. 

Justice Vui then adjourned the matter until 5  December 2016 for the strike out motion. 

The hearing has been prompted by the Tokuma family who is seeking an interim order from the Supreme Court to stop the government from ordering them off the land.

The family is also asking the Court to stop S.L.C. and any other government agents or staff from interfering directly or indirectly with members of the Tokuma family regarding surveying and evaluation works or any other matters related to land. 

The Tokuma family claims that the land they live on now in Sogi was gifted to their predecessor Turore Tokuma by the then Commissioner of Crown Estates of Samoa who was also the Public Trustee and a member of the Legislative Council of Samoa, the late Percival Ernest Patrick in the 1920s.  Turore Tokuma was a driver and was treated as a member of the household of Mr. Patrick.  

The family also claims the gifted land they now occupy was given to their predecessor and his wife and children in recognition of his “service, loyalty and compensation for the execution that almost killed Mr Tokuma for the crime he did not commit”.  

The Tokuma family is arguing that their continuous occupation of the same land was endorsed by the first Prime Minister of Samoa, Mataafa Fiame Mulinu’u.  

“The deed through his words reaffirmed lawful ownership and occupation of the land by the Tokuma family when Mataafa said “your mother and children can live on the land where you are now as the government cannot afford to pay your father”,” claim the family. 

By Lanuola Tupufia – Ah Tong 22 November 2016, 12:00AM

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