NATION

TLTB, Chief Served Writ

  The iTaukei Lands Trust Board (TLTB) and a high chief have been given 14 days by the High Court in Lautoka to reply to claims or show intention to
25 Jan 2017 11:00
TLTB, Chief Served Writ
Vetaia Bari Ralulu, the plaintiff with the Writ of Summons. Photo: Charles Chambers

 

The iTaukei Lands Trust Board (TLTB) and a high chief have been given 14 days by the High Court in Lautoka to reply to claims or show intention to contest a civil action case brought on by members of a mataqali.

The plaintiff, Vetaia Bari Ralulu, on behalf of the members of the mataqali Tilivasewa of the yavusa Bila of Tavua served the Writ of Summons to the Tui Tavua, Ratu Nacanieli Uqeuqe, Ovini Bokini and Sikeli Ralulu, who had been named as second defendants, on January 18.

Mr Ralulu said he would be serving the Writ of Summons to the TLTB, the first defendants today in Suva.

The Writ of Summons, filed by the plaintiff’s lawyers Nawaikula Esquire, want a declaration that the defendants acted unlawfully by their failure to distribute income equally to the mataqali members.

They also want the High Court to issue an order that the defendants pay the mataqali members the sum of $370,000.

The Statement of Claim in the Writ notes that Ratu Nacanieli, Mr Bokini and Mr Ralulu were “purported Trustees of Mataqali Tilivasewa who had organised themselves to be such in December 2016, that resulted in their drawing the sum of $450,000 belonging to mataqali Tilivasewa.”

The plaintiffs cited Regulation 11 of the Native Land Trust (Leases and Licences) Regulations, as amended in 2010 which says “After deduction of any sums in accordance with Section 14 of the Act, the balance of any monies received by the Board by way of rents and premiums in respect of native land, including any monies received by the Board, but not yet distributed at date of commencement of the Native Land Trust (Leases and Licences) Regulations 2010, shall be distributed by the Board to all the living members of the proprietary unit, in equal proportion.”

In the  Chronology of Events listed in the Writ of Summons, the plaintiff said following the Native Land Trust (Leases and Licences) (Amendment) Regulation 2010 becoming law, communal distribution was removed and directions distributions was made to individual members in equal shares.

It said that when this law came into effect, individual members started receiving their individual income.

It further stated that in December 2016, following the payment of a premium by a tenant, Total Service Station, it is alleged that the first and second defendants acted together to appoint the second defendants as Trustees and paid them the $450,000.

The plaintiff alleged that upon receiving the payment of $450,00, the second defendants distributed only $80,000 to members of the mataqali, an undisclosed amount was allegedly paid to the wife of Ratu Nacanieli, another undisclosed amount allegedly paid to Aims Rental Cars and an undisclosed sum allegedly used for the second defendants own use and purpose.

The plaintiff claims TLTB, in facilitating the release of the $450,000 and Ratu Nacanieli, Mr Bokini and Mr Ralulu in withdrawing it acted unlawfully and in breach of Regulation 11 of the above mentioned law.

The plaintiff claim the mataqali members as a result suffered a loss of $370,000 that they alleged was unaccounted for and not distributed.

The Writ says if there was no response by the first and second defendants within the 14 days, Mr Ralulu may proceed with further civil action and judgement be sought without further notice.

A senior TLTB staff in Lautoka said the Writ has to be served at the head office in Suva.

Attempts to contact Ratu Nacaniel for a comment were unsuccessful.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

 



Got A News Tip


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Subscribe-to-Newspaper