Friday 16 July 2021, Mulinuu Apia Samoa. Charges of bribery and treating against elected MP Niuava Eti Malolo as well as former MP and Caretaker Minister of Agriculture, Lopaoo Natanielu Mu’a have all been dismissed by the Supreme Court.
Lopaoo had faced two counts of bribery brought as a counter-petition against him by Niuava, while Niuava had faced five counts of bribery and treating. The case was heard over a 2-day hearing in the Supreme Court last week.
The ruling was handed down by Justice Vui Clarence Nelson on behalf of a two-judge panel with Chief Justice Satiu Simativa Perese, who is today presiding over the Court of Appeal in the next courtroom.
“None of the allegations have been proven and therefore dismissed,” said Justice Vui.
Niuava is now the confirmed Member of Parliament for the constituency of Vaisigano No1 that consists the beautiful far west Savaii villages of Asau, Utuloa, Matavai, Auala and Vaisala.
The Court granted costs of $2000 for the respondent in addition to the $2000 already paid by the petitioner for this matter. Aumua Ming Leung Wai and Lucy Sio-Ofoia represented Lopaoo while Tanya Toailoa stood for Niuava.
The full judgment of the Supreme Court will be published once received from Registrar of the Courts.