Justice served in Samoa court
Afu Faumuina Tutuila is a relieved woman. Outside the Supreme Court, her tears tell a story. It is the story of a woman overcome by happiness at the realisation that justice has perhaps finally been served.
Afu’s family was evicted from their home as a result of a bitter dispute involving the Tanugamanono Village Council and their neighbour, the EFKS Church. The dispute came to a head one evening when the men from the village, in a “cowardly attack” stoned Afu, her husband, children, her sister and brother-in-law.
The villagers entered the homes and smashed furniture and personal items belonging to Afu and her extended family. They destroyed the family’s homes, vehicles and property worth thousands of tala. Since then, Afu and her family have been fighting the village through the Court. On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Afu when Justice Pierre Slicer ordered the defendants to pay back more than $982,295 to Afu and her family.
Among the matai Afu fought in Court Court were; Tuuamaalii Peni Punitia, Tupuola Afa Lesa, Anauli Pofitu Fesili, Fetaoai Vau Samau, Upuese Tanielu Lepolu, Sinava Lima, Palaialii Louis Tafunai, Palaialii Tuvale Atoa, Palaialii Ionatana Pula, Palaialii Gene Taatasi, Palaialii Pauesi Teo, Asotasi Va’a Falealili, Tia Elise Solo, Galuvaa Sagauga Metuli, Atoa Kisona, Tuua Fasi Leota and Tuuamaalii Siataga Mann.
Speaking to the Sunday Samoan, Afu said the decision has restored her faith in the justice system. “This decision is a decision from God, and justice has been done,” she said. “I thank God for all that He has done for me and my whole family.