Cabinet to discuss Inquiry Report on Nigerian man

Okoro Williams

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA: MONDAY 26 NOVEMBER 2012: Cabinet has yet to discuss the findings of the Report of a Special Commission set up to investigate the events surrounding a Nigerian national who entered Samoa, was implicated in money laundering and sued and awarded $100,000 from the Samoan Government.

Chairman of the Commission, lawyer Patrick Fepulea’i could not comment on the report’s findings but did confirm that they have concluded their investigations and their Report submitted to Cabinet.

“Until Cabinet discussed it, I can not release any more information,” he told Talamua.

Last year, the Supreme Court in Samoa awarded the Nigerian national Okoro Williams more than $100,000 after the Court heard how he was mistreated by police officers while under custody.

Okoro claimed he was “held hostage at Tafa’igata Prison, received daily beatings and went days without food”. He also lost his personal properties including money and passport which were placed under police care when he was arrested at Fagali’i airport.

The Prime Minister wrote to the then Minister of Police to prepare a submission for Cabinet to approve a refund of Okoro’s money and  to cover his fare to his country and hotel costs on the way.  “We must incur this liability arising from the stupidity and carelessness of the Police,” the Prime Minister wrote.

Okoro has since returned to his country but the Government set up a Special Commission to investigate how such an incident happen that has given the country a bad name, to avoid similar incidents in the future from reoccurring.

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