Village Dispute Elevates to Burning of Property

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A dispute in the village of Mutiatele Aleipata has left the Village Representative (Sui o le Nuu) and his brother facing assault charges while three untitled men (taulealea) have been charged for allegedly setting fire to a building belonging to the Village Rep.

Deputy Police Commissioner Auapaau Logoitino Filipo last week confirmed the Sui o le Nuu and his brother were charged assaulting three taulealea who allegedly set fire to one of the houses within the Sui o le Nuu’s home compound.

Two of the three taulelea have since been let out on bail, while one of them remains in police custody. The village rep and his brother are also on bail.

On Monday morning during criminal mentions in the Supreme Court, the taulealea who remains in police custody, appeared in Court unrepresented.

The Court adjourned the matter to allow Prosecution to finalize charges.

According to sources from the village, the untitled men had reacted to being fined by the Sui o le Nuu for having a drink-up session.

According to villagers, the taulealea currently in custody facing charges of destroying property by setting fire to the building, has a mental illness which is well known within the village.

According to members of the village, the estimated value of damage from the fire is around $2,000 tala.

The Village Representative and his brother are also due to appear in Court for assault.


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In response to questions, the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development (MWCSD) who coordinate Village Representatives said Sui o Nuu may be removed from office convicted of a criminal offense.

Sui o Nuu (representing Village Councils) and Sui Tamaitai o Nuu (representing women’s committees) are selected by each village of Samoa and formally registered with MWCSD.  They act as a conduits and coordinators between Village Councils/Women’s Committees and the central Government.