SAMOA COURT REVERSES CHIEFLY TITLE

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Bestowal challenged by 14 title candidates

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, April 17, 2010) – The Land and Titles Court yesterday declared void the bestowal of the Faumuina title of Lepea on the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa.

The decision followed a hearing involving multiple parties, held at the Land and Titles Court, Mulinu’u.

Fourteen parties registered claims to the title. They all asked the court to void an announcement published in government newspaper, The Savali, on 23 September last year.

The announcement was that Fiame was selected to hold the Faumuina title.

The announcement was annulled by the Court yesterday.

In its six-page ruling, the Court details the reasons behind its decision.

A leading family member, Toluma’anave Misiluki Su’a said the decision was good for their family.

He said heirs of the Faumuina title would have to meet and decide their next course of action.

Meanwhile, the prominent musician who was the first to object to the bestowal acknowledged the support of his family members, the village of Lepea and district of Faleata.

Toluma’anave said the most likely course of action would be to determine the true heirs of the Faumuina title.

The Minister of Women, Fiame was not immediately available for a comment.

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