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Four Character Witnesses for Dakuidreketi

Four Character Witnesses for Dakuidreketi
Samuela Koroi (left) and Aisake Mila with their trophy and certificate as best trainees during Centre for Appropriate Technology and Development (CATD) graduation ceremony on December 11, 2018. Photo:Ronald Kumar.
August 14
08:23 2014

Four character witnesses for former board member of the Native Land Trust Board, Keni Dakuidreketi were produced in the High Court in Suva yesterday.

The witnesses appeared before high court judge Justice Janaka Bandara.

Prominent among them was company director and former national 15’s rugby team captain, Ratu Ilaitia Tuisese.

Ratu Ilaitia informed the court that he shared a close relationship with Dakuidreketi and comes from the same village of Serea, Naitasiri.

He said Dakuidreketi’s success story had an effect on the lives of people, their village and province.

“People in our village and in our province look up to him, he’s an icon,” Ratu Ilaitia said.

He said Dakuidreketi also made contributions towards the village and province by providing financial assistance.

Ratu Ilaitia said they had raised funds which reached up to $500,000 and were deposited to the Bilibili Fund; a fund that was created for the purpose of educational assistance for the children in their village.

He said Dakuidreketi was assigned to look after the fund.

“There were times when questions were raised about the funds, but Keni always provided the bank statements and assured that the funds are still there. There were withdrawals made a couple of times for the reason of some urgent development in the village,” Ratu Ilaitia said.

He said Dakuidreketi was a good family man.

Kusum Lata, Dakuidreketi’s secretary at Rolle Associates who appeared as first witness, said Dakuidreketi was always very professional in what he did.

“He is a man of integrity,” Ms Lata said.

She said on one occasion when her child was admitted in the hospital, Dakuidreketi had shown her generosity and allowed her paid leave so she could be with her child.

“He was generous towards people who came to the office to seek his help, it included families who needed financial assistance,” Ms Lata said.

Third witness was Dakuidreketi’s family friend, Suva businessman and rugby identity Daniel Lobendahn.

Mr Lobendahn said they had been neighbours for the last 26 years and Dakuidreketi was like a brother to him.

“He’s one of the local Fijians who has been very successful in business, he’s like a mentor to a lot of us,” he said.

Fourth witness was Laisiasa Joji, a pastor of the World Harvest Centre at Kinoya.

Pastor Joji was a member of the same church study group with Dakuidreketi in 2009.

He said Dakuidreketi was a man who loved God and his family.

Pastor Joji said Dakuidreketi volunteered and made financial contributions to the building of the church’s primary school.

Meanwhile former general manager of NLTB, Kalivati Bakani who is charged along side Dakuidreketi was also in court yesterday.

He had pleaded guilty to five charges of abuse of office.

Sentencing for the duo is expected to be delivered tomorrow (Friday).

Justice Bandara found Dakuidreketi guilty on all five counts of abuse of office for the purpose of gain by Justice Bandara on August 7.



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