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Ratu Epenisa taken into police custody over Chiefly installation row

June 7, 2018 10:14 pm

A team of police officers were sent to Bau Island this morning to take Chief Ratu Epenisa Cakobau into custody.

This was confirmed by Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho.

Qiliho says Cakobau and several others were taken in for questioning after information was received that they were adamant to continue the installation ceremony despite the decision to call it off by the Native Lands Commission yesterday evening.

Ratu Epenisa was supposed to be installed as the Vunivalu of Bau on the Island today however the NLC instructed the Police to stop it.

NLC Chair Ratu Isireli Vananalagi says they received a letter from Ratu Joji Kadavulevu Cakobau, his elder brother, disputing the installation.

Vananalagi says the NLC met with the four chiefly households of the Tui Kaba clan to try and resolve their differences but no agreement was reached.

Vananalagi says a protocol was breached in the selection of proposed candidate Ratu Epenisa and the Turaga Na Roko Tui Bau has also withdrawn from his duties in the installation process.

Vananalagi adds the NLC is acting fairly and reasonably to stop the installation in order to conduct an inquiry to solve the dispute.