Police mum on complaint against Deputy Ombudsman

Police are remaining tight-lipped about the status of a criminal complaint made against the Deputy Ombudsman, Maualaivao Pepe Seiuli, about a disagreement between him and an election candidate.

Former Member of Parliament, Maualaivao Pat Ah Him, alleged that what began as a verbal disagreement between the two men during a village council boiled over into a heated exchange. 

Maualaivao Pat’s complaint was lodged in September, but several emails in the last week to the Commissioner of Police, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil, have gone unanswered. 

Last week the Commissioner brushed off questions when approached for comments on the matter in the person. 

In the meantime, a letter which does not have date obtained by the Samoa Observer, shows Maualaivao Pepe writing to Maualaivao Pat acknowledging their disagreement. 

The Police Commissioner Fuiava is copied. Others copied include Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Mailelegaoi, Minister of Police and Prisons, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt and the Attorney General, Savalenoa Mareva Betham Annandale. 

“I also addressed the village in your presence, and I don’t want to revisit the past, let it blow away with the wind,”  a translation of Maualaivao Pepe's letter reads. 

“A real leader is not determined when the day is clear but only when the seas are rough.”

He noted that in February this year, the village council collectively agreed to accept that only one candidate will run for public office from the village of Malie.

However, Maualaivao Pat insisted his individual rights to run for public office.

“And you proceeded to register your name, without any consideration as to the appeal from the village, yet this is your first meeting of the year ever since you became an Independent member during the previous [Parliamentary] term,”  said Maualaivao Pepe.

“This is somewhat a big deal to me and the village.” 

Maualaivao Pepe said he had hoped that Maualaivao Pat would consider working alongside him in developing the village instead of becoming rivals. 

Last week Maualaivao Pat confirmed that he had made a criminal complaint when contacted by this newspaper but declined to discuss the details noting that the matter was before Police.

“I have retained a lawyer and we are awaiting word from the Police on the status of the complaint [that was filed in September],” the businessman said. 

When the Samoa Observer contacted Deputy Ombudsman Maualaivao Seiuli for comments last week he was also reluctant to offer comment. 

“I don’t want to comment on those matters," he said. 

"It would reflect poorly on the chiefs [of the village]."

Asked if the Police had visited him, Maualaivao Seiuli said he had told them to leave. 

“The cops came and I told them [about] a previous incident where the matter was also taken to Court and was thrown out. What happens in the village should be confined [to] the village,” he said. 

Maualaivao Pat Ah Him, a former Associate Minister of Health, will be contesting the Sagaga no.2 seat.


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