APIA: 21 August 2012: The Aana Alofi No.3. Member of Parliament, Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster may face criminal charges if his role in blocking the public road at Satapuala near the airport last Thursday can been proven by Police.
The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, in a Ministerial Statement in Parliament this morning, moved that the matter be submitted to the Attorney Generals office for investigation and to lay relevant charges.
Tuilaepa told Parliament that he was saddened that the illegal actions by some of the village matais and untitled men were led by the MP and Leao Akeripa (a matai of the village).
He explained the scene at Satapuala when he himself arrived early Thursday morning from New Zealand “and the passengers were stopped at gunpoint by armed men with their faces covered and directed by some matais who would allow or deny passage of the traveling public.
“They flashed lights in the passengers faces and cars as if they were looking for someone in particular to vent their anger.
“The roadblock delayed not only those traveling from overseas who witnessed such ugly scenes, but people traveling from Savai’i, the travelling public and delayed returning flights to New Zealand due to disorderly behaviour fueled by high mindedness.”
He said the roadblock also affected church ministers who were traveling for a dedication at Sili village in Savaii, and also affected the Chief Justice and the Speaker of Parliament who were travelling to the ceremony.
“Even the government leaders were affected but such disorderly behaviour.”
The PM said only a few of the village took part “who were filmed on TV and radio and exposed their weaknesses, to the detriment of the good name of the village.”
He explained that the colonial government took 855 acres for the Faleolo Airport. But gave back 1070 acres for the village to relocate to.
“Up to now, Satapuala has not been able to develop the whole 1070 acres, but still they cross governments development projects.”
Tuilaepa talked in length about the MPs oath of Office to uphold law and order, peace and integrity of the office and to the people of Samoa. The MP should also respect other Members as well as Government officials. He said that blocking the road by masked and armed men is not respecting other citizens to travel freely.
The PM also referred to other MPs who have been jailed for breaking the law and others who were dealt with by the powers of Parliament.
“I therefore announce, that the seditious act by Satapuala and led by the Member of Parliament be submitted to the Office of the Attorney General for investigations and necessary actions if any charges need be laid.” He said this should avail the legal avenues to deal with the matter.
He said that Parliament could have dealt with the issue by sending the matter to the Privileges Committee. The Government also holds the majority in the House.
“But the spiritual guidance this morning, is that wars start within the human heart. We must not let this go lightly as what has happened will happen again.”
“The Government will not shy away from implementing its development projects for the benefit of the country. That needs the support of everyone.”
The Leader of the Oposition, Palusalue Faapo tried to get the floor and questioned why the matter has been sent to the Attorney Generals Office but not the Privileges Committee of Parliament.
The Speaker ruled that there was no discussion allowed until after the Ministerial Statement has been tabled.
If criminal charges against the MP maybe proven, he will automatically lose his parliamentary seat.