Nothing new? Then what is being done about it?

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

Let’s see. Two weeks ago, the Minister of Justice and Courts Administration (M.J.C.A.), Fa’aolesa Katopau Ainu’u, flatly denied allegations he was the recipient of Land and Titles Court files removed from the Court’s premises.

Said Minister Faaolesa when he was asked for a comment: “That is not true. I cannot respond to the questions if you will not tell me who said these things to you.”

Well we did tell him. The source was named in the story titled “Minister of Justice denies removing Court files claims” published on the front page of the Samoa Observer.

He was none other than the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration employee, Tulima Pio. Working as the driver for the Chief Executive Officer of M.J.C.A., Papali’i John Taimalelagi at the time, he claimed to have delivered the files to the Minister’s Office, accompanied by Papali’i’s Secretary.

Ironically, when the Minister was queried, he referred all questions from the Samoa Observer to the C.E.O.

Papali’i, who like his boss, vehemently denied the allegations. He too did not know who the source was at the time. Still, he was adamant that nothing of the sort had taken place, at all.

“This type of allegation questions the integrity of the Ministry and that is why I want to make it clear that these are not true,” Papali’i said. 

“There was never a time that Court documents have left the Court house.” 

According to Papali’i, there is a long-standing policy that prohibits the removal of any Court records from the Courthouse.

“It has been a long-standing policy since the establishment of the Court, this is not allowed. Everyone and I mean everyone has to go through the process.” 

“Even his Highness the Head of State, Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers or Members of Parliament, C.E.O.’s if they want to conduct research on any Court filings, they have to file a request form to me.” 

 “And keep in mind these records are not public records and so if you want to see these files, you have to prove in your request form your eligibility to view any file.” 

Okay then. Let’s park Papali’i, Minister Fa’aolesa and Mr. Pio there for a second.

Let’s fast forward to last Thursday when another story titled “P.M. says Court files claim nothing new” was published on the front page. 

This time, the person being questioned was Fa’aolesa, Papali’i and Mr. Pio’s big boss, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.

The story starts off with a reminder from the Prime Minister that Land and Titles Court files should not be moved from the Court’s premises. 

But then he goes on to that the allegations are nothing new. 

Now this needs to be explained. For instance, what does he mean by nothing new? Is the Prime Minister saying that it is not unusual for confidential files to walk from Land and Titles Court? Or is he saying the allegations against the Minister are nothing new? 

And if it’s nothing new, why has it been allowed to continue for so long when clearly it is a breach of policy. 

And now that Prime Minister Tuilaepa has been reminded again, why has nothing being done to stop this madness once and for all? Are certain people above the law? 

Now according to the Prime Minister, the Government has invested in digitising files.

“Everything nowadays is computerized,” he said. “I don’t know what those files are but everything is computerised and you cannot carry out a computer, which is quite heavy.” 

“It takes three people to carry a computer and I am shocked as to who will carry out a computer. That is why I find it hard to believe such things.”

Hogwash, hogwash, hogwash. Absolutely nonsense.

If there is anything hard to believe, it is the idea the Prime Minister thinks that the people of this country are “idiots” they cannot read between the lines and decipher rubbish from the truth.

And what is the truth? 

It’s quite simple really. Even a “fool”,  a “kid” or an “idiot” can see that something does not make sense in this saga. And the attempts to justify such wrongdoing are becoming more bizarre by the day from everyone involved.

We’ve asked this before and we will ask again today; Don’t you think it is time for Prime Minister Tuilaepa to launch an independent investigation to find out exactly what is going on down at the halls of justice in Samoa today?

Have a peaceful Sunday Samoa, God bless!

© Samoa Observer 2016

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