Namosi Village Headman William Vakadranu has told the Suva High Court today that the Turaga na Vunivalu na Tui Namosi, Ratu Suliano Matanitobua resides in Veivatuloa and not Namosi Village.
SODELPA MP, Ratu Suliano is alleged to have falsely stated that his permanent place of residence was in Namosi Village and allegedly obtained $38,378.22 between August 2019 and April 2020.
Vakadranu who is the first state witness also revealed in court that Ratu Suliano only comes for visits on some weekends which is on Fridays and returns on Sunday afternoons.
When questioned by FICAC Commissioner Rashmi Aslam, Vakadranu says there is a house in the Tui Namosi’s ancestral piece of land where his ancestors lived in Namosi Village which has been vacant for a very long time now.
He also told the court that Ratu Suli’s aunt was the last to live in that house.
Vakadranu says Ratu Suliano would come and have talanoa sessions with the village elders where the i-sevusevu is always conducted for him.
During cross examination, Ratu Suliano's lawyer Filimoni Vosarogo then put to Vakadranu if he knew that Ratu Suliano was also known as the Turaga na Taukei in Namosi which means that he owns everything there like the land and the people. Vakadranu agreed to this.
Vosarogo also questioned if the land that Namosi Village is on also belongs to the Tui Namosi. Vakadranu says it does belong to him. Ratu Suliano is charged with a count each of Giving False Information to a Public Servant and Obtaining Financial Advantage.
The trial continues in the Suva High Court.
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