Siva Afi Investments to appeal Supreme Court’s Decision
By Unumoe Esera
APIA: Friday 13th July 2012: Siva Afi Investments owner, Leota Lene will again appeal the decision by Justice Lesatele Rapi Vaai of the Supreme Court over the decision that he has to pay a substantial amount of money to the Government for unpaid rent.
The decision delivered today states that the Respondent, the Office of the Attorney General was to pay more than $700,000 as compensation to the Appellant and the Appellant Siva Afi to pay $122,000 for unpaid rent while it was leasing government land at Savalalo.
The Counsel for the Appellant, Leuluaialii Olinda Woodroffe confirmed the appeal saying that there was no unpaid rent by Siva Afi.
She said that six land valuers were paid by the Government to carry out an valuation of the total cost of the land and business.
Five of the land valuers were locals and one from New Zealand. The land valuers took into account the loss of lease by Siva Afi as their lease was for 20 years but they were only there for three years when they were ordered to move, while there were still 17 years of the lease left. Siva Afi signed the lease in 2005 but was told to move three years later before the lease was up.
She said the land was valued at the lowest cost. The valuer from New Zealand said he did not do the evaluation for Siva Afi as there were not enough resources to carry out the evaluation.
“I do not accept this decision by the Court which says the business has no value. I will advise my client to appeal this decision,”
She said they would take civil action as “they (Leota Lene and his wife Claire) have suffered the damage.”
Leuluaialii stated that these wrong doings must be corrected and they would not just sit there and accept it.
Leuluaialii said that her clients were told by the Government that they could relocate behind the Government building at Eleele Fou. She said she was proud and happy and had even written a letter only to be told that the Prime Minister had changed his mind and took back the offer without contacting Siva Afi.
“The decision today doesn’t surprise me. It’s Friday 13th and Government always does this to me. This part is done and I’m happy to go to the next level,” said Siva Afi owner, Lene Leota.
He also emphasized that his lawyer was only following instructions from him, and he wants to appeal.
He compared himself to Siva Afi the warrior who does not back down easily. Lene Leota is a former fire knife dancer and is the founder of the ailao afi (fire dance) dance performing group with competitions being held in Samoa and various countries.
“I’m not finished yet, I’m not going to give up, I’m doing this not just for Siva Afi but the whole country,” he said.
The Siva Afi business was ordered to move out to allow for the construction of the Government Building at Sogi that has been named after the Head of State.