FFAS > News > American Samoa > Iuli awarded Faiivae title from Leone

Iuli awarded Faiivae title from Leone

Iuli prevailed over claimant Poloa Tuliloa to be the next Faiivae, according to a ten-page decision issued by the court yesterday.
Faiivae is one of the titular chiefs of Leone and the Western District and the title has been vacant since the passing of the late Senator Faiivae Galeai in 2007.
The court found that Iuli prevailed in three of the four criterion for deciding disputed titles.
For hereditary criterion, the judges said all the court can ascertain with any measure of confidence based on the evidence before them is that Iuli and Poloa are heirs to the matai title Faiivae. On the extent of their respective proof and from review of the past case history, the court ranked the parties as equally entitled in best hereditary right.
Faiivae has four clans: Saitosua, Fatumalala, Niulaititi, and Tuitagivale.
The evidence showed that the family clans had met repeatedly in an attempt to select a matai. Initially each clan had its own candidate and Iuli was nominated by the Fatumalala clan while Poloa was the favored son of the Niulaititi clan.
Over the course of the family discussion, three of the clans agreed on Iuli and threw their support behind Iuli’s candidacy.
On customary knowledge the court said Poloa himself conceded on the stand that Iuli was better at ease in terms of his knowledge of Samoan customs. For forcefulness, the court found both candidates to be equal in this regard, noting that each has risen from modest circumstances, showing personal initiative, drive and gumption; and both have enjoyed success in their respective career choices.
With regard to character and personality, the court found for Iuli saying he is personable and engaging in nature, whereas Poloa is self centered and more inward looking as evident with family meetings.
Additionally the court found Iuli’s more outgoing disposition to be consistent with his more extensive record of community service. The court also found in favor of Iuli with regards to character and noted that Poloa has a record with the court albeit made during his youth which weighs against him in any sort of competitive character assessment.
As to value to family, village and country, the court said they are satisfied that Iuli’s life of service to the family has better prepared him for the responsibilities of holding the Faiivae title. The court said he has popular family following, posesses the sort of financial wherewithal necessary to assist him in handling family affairs, and his familiarity with Samoan customs is to the family’s advantage.
The court also found that Iuli’s service to the village has been more active even in matters beyond his matai competence. In comparison Poloa’s contribution to the village activity has been less pronounced said the court. His village involvement has only lately become apparent since his recent retirement and relocation to this village.
In terms of value to the government, the evidence shows that Poloa has retired from the military after 20 years of meritorious service and that he had also worked for the ASG as a JROTC instructor, before his retirement.
According to the court, Iuli’s value to country and government is equally impressive, not only in terms of his long standing service with Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin’s office but also in regard to the many government commissions and boards he has been asked to serve on.
The court rated the candidates equally on value to country and overall the judges found favor for Iuli under this heading.
The decision was signed by Chief Justice Michael Kruse, Chief Associate Judge Logoai Siaki and Associate Judges Mamea Sala Jr., and Muasau Tofili.
Iuli was represented by attorney Fiti Sunia and Poloa by Charles Alailima.
(Story courtesy of KHJ Radio News & talanei.com)