Tokuma family continues land battle in court

Nanai Liutofaga Tokuma (right) one of the last of the second generation of the original Melanesian labourers brought by the German administration in the late 1800’s is leading the fight

APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 14 AUGUST 2018: The Tokuma family of Sogi, descendants of Melanesia indentured labourers are continuing their battle in court claiming ownership of land at Sogi even though the Supreme Court has dismissed their motion.

The family today lodged an appeal against Supreme Court Justice Leiataualesā Daryl Clarkes ruling and the matter will be recalled 27of this month.

The case revolves around Governments decision to relocate all the Sogi residents to Falelauniu, and the Tokuma family refused to leave.

They argued that the land was rightfully theirs as it was gifted by the colonial New Zealand Government to their grandfather, Turore Tokuma as a gift for his service however no concrete evidence was presented to support their claim.

On 8 June 2018, Justice Leiataualesā dismissed the Tokuma family statement of claim and motion. The Tokuma family was and is represented by Nanai Liutofaga Tokuma.

The family has also recruited a new counsel to represent them in their appeal.

Nanai Liutofaga Tokuma with Oscar Knightley who conducted the interviews for the documentary on the TAMA ULI, the descendants of the Melanesian indentured labourers in Samoa
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