Lolo & Lemanu select their first nominee for Cabinet
Lolo Matalasi Moliga and Lemanu Peleti Mauga have selected the first member of their cabinet, veteran attorney Afoa Moega Su’esu’e Lutu as Attorney General. “If anyone who knows the predicament and situation the government and the people of American Samoa is facing it is none other than Afoa,” Lolo stated.
“Lemanu and I... we have the utmost trust in Afoa to take up the post, because in Afoa’s platform when he was running for office he was someone who loves, cares and is willing to work for the people — that’s why Afoa is the perfect man for this job,” he told Samoa News.
The announcement was made by the governor elect at their headquarters in Matu’u yesterday afternoon. Lolo said it was a difficult decision that both he and Lemanu made because they sought someone who is committed, honest and is willing to work. They are confident that Afoa is the right person.
In a brief telephone interview with Samoa News, Afoa said he is honored to be selected as Attorney General and is looking forward to working with the new administration in the next four years. Afoa said he is ready to serve and work with the Assistant Attorney Generals and the Deputy Attorney Generals and the people of American Samoa.
Afoa, who served as AG during Governor Lutali’s tenure said, “I am ready to serve, have been ready to serve and I am very much honored to take up the post.”
Afoa, is a High Chief of Utulei, who endorsed Lolo and Lemanu after the general election. He is a lawyer in private practice, specializing in land and title matters, and is also currently the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Korea for the territory. He was also the Executive Director for the recently formed Constitutional Review Committee office.
He has served as Chief Legislative Counsel and Director of the Legislative Reference Bureau (1997-2004); Special Legal Counsel to the Speaker of the House (1996-97); Special Legal Counsel for the Senate President (1989-92) and from 1992-1996 was elected to the House of Representatives from District 7— Ma’oputasi (villages of Utulei, Gataivai and Fagaalu).
Afoa has also held the posts of Chief Legal Counsel for the American Samoa Constitutional Convention (1986) and Instructor for Juvenile Justice at ASCC. He first opened his private law practice in the territory in 1975.
The newly nominated AG holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Hawaii, and his Juris Doctor degree is from Valparaiso University Law School.
The nomination of the Attorney General is subject to confirmation by the Fono.
OTHER TRANSITION MATTERS
Lolo told Samoa News during the telephone interview that there have been more than 50 applications submitted since they announced the director positions and they are currently going through each application thoroughly.
Samoa News asked Lolo about the second post that he has stated that he and Lemanu would decide for themselves — not through applications.
Lolo said there is no rush in naming a new Secretary of Samoan Affairs. “But sooner or later we will declare the new Secretary of Samoan Affairs, in the meantime, the new AG is urgently needed,” he said.
The governor-elect declined to comment when Samoa News asked about the urgency in naming the new AG.