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Late Chief Justice made three wills, his sister clarifies in court

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – 27 OCTOBER 2022: The late Chief Justice Patū Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu’s sister, Luamanuvao Katalaina Sapolu has denied all allegations made by her sister-in-law Iliganoa Daphne Sapolu against her.

The allegations were that Patū did not leave a will and that his signature had been forged on the purported will now questioned before the Court.

The will stated that Patu’s assets were to be divided equally between Iliganoa and Patū’s nephew Maka Sapolu. Patū’s three biological children are also named as beneficiaries of the will.

Luamanuvao took the stand yesterday and clarified when the will was made and how her late brother wanted his assets divided.

According to her, her brother was someone that was good with money, was careful with spending, did not want to be indebted and protective of his assets.

She said Patū made three wills, one in 1988 where his mother and children were beneficiaries, another will after separation from his first wife and married Iliganoa in 1993, and the new will in 2020 which he signed on 25 September 2020.

Luamanuavao said her brother was cautious that he and Iliganoa did not have any biological children of their own and that he left a valid will.

She told the Court that Patū tasked her with drafting the will.

On 25 September 2022, the day scheduled for him and Iliganoa to leave for medical assistance in New Zealand, Luamanuavao arrived at the hospital and saw Iliganoa, Sieni Tanieli, Aliiofetu Enari (Pepsi) and Sai.

Iliganoa and Sieni left to cash two cheques signed by Patū that day and that was when she reminded Patū that she has the draft will with her.

As they talked, Uzha (an Indian employee of Patū and Iliganoa) walked in then left again.

According to Luamanauvao, Patū said he almost forgot Usha then asked to include Usha in the will before he signed it whilst witnessed by Pepsi and Sai.

Luamanavao said the testimony presented by Iliganoa and others against the will and her were “maliciously concocted lies.”

Remove Maka from the will
Iliganoa also took the stand yesterday where she talked about the love and trust between her and her late husband and how Patū told her that he would leave everything to her.

She strongly denied the existence of any will as Patū had already entrusted all his assets to her.

She also questioned why Maka Sapolu was named as a beneficiary in the will.

During cross examination, counsel for the Public Trustee, Shane Wulf asked Iliganoa that if Maka was not a beneficiary of the will, would she accept it.

Iliganoa said “yes”.

The case continues.