Dear Editor – THE exposure by Magistrate Jimmy Hanahunu of the alleged $2,000 bribe by Jefter Tuhagenga that appeared in the front page of the Solomon Star issue No.5942 of Thursday 6 August, 2015 is in no way convincing that Hanahunu and his sister adviser Esther Lellapitu are honest and ethical as the article implied as I quote from the reporter’s pen, “Jimmy Hanahunu, who is the responsible officer for civil cases, decided to go public to send a message to the community that bribery is a crime that officials like him will not tolerate.”
Rather, the exposure only tells me two things about Hanahunu and Lelapitu: they are not cheap to bribe and they are the two that worked together to issue the controversial certificate of no appeal to Asia Pacific Investment Development (APID) that qualified the later to register West Rennell land, reef and sea, for a bauxite mining.
If Mr Hanahunu and Ms Lelapitu think that I am misconstruing them then they need to explain to the public whether the land cases in West Rennell that had already been decided and those that are still pending in the court of chiefs, local court, magistrate and the high court are now settled for APID because of their registration of West Rennell?
Sensible citizens of this country and its leaders need to be informed that a good number of us that own those land cases had not signed for APID to include our lands in their tenement that eventually led to their registration of West Rennell; a situation that warrant us to take the law into our own hands if the law continues to uphold APID’s controversial registration of West Rennell.
Further; the public needs to be informed that my frustration of APID’s registration of my Niteni Tribe customary land goes toward Hanahunu and Lelapitu; the magistrate officers responsible for civil cases.
Herein, I wish to ask them these, did you know that there are many unsettled land cases in West Rennell registered under your nose that you should use to refuse APID’s application for a certificate of no appeal if the two of you are honest and true to your duties?
In Ms Esther Lelapitu letter of revocation of Solomon Maui of Mugaba Timber Ltd certificate of no appeal dated 12th November, 2013, she stated these as her reasons for revoking Maui’s certificate of no appeal: Naone road was already determined to Mugaba Atoll Resources Company’s concession as determined by the Central Customary Land Appeal Court on the 6th August, 2013 and Teumupeka, Sanibaga, Hanakaba and Magamaitonga areas are still pending in the customary land appeal court and the local court.
Interestingly, these are the areas that APID is currently digging although the cases are yet to be determined in court.
For public information, Mugaba Timber Ltd that Ms Lelapitu revoked their certificate of no appeal as briefly discussed above is owned by Solomon Maui, the project coordinator and manager of APID according to Maui’s letter to the Commissioner of Lands (Mrs Esther Maelanga) dated 23rd September, 2014 when Maui appointed Penrose Palmer as APID’s acquisition officer.
So how can Hanahunu and Lelapitu be mean to the people of West Rennell who are frustrated by their issuance of the controversial certificate of no appeal to APID to boldly claim that they did nothing wrong to the people of West Rennell whom they sold to APID through the signing and issuance of the certificate of no appeal?
Unless the two didn’t know their work, I guess that their issuance of the certificate of no appeal to APID despite Hanahunu and Lelapitu being knowledgeable about the resolved and unresolved land cases in West Rennell could be influenced by some substantial amount of money much bigger than that offered by Tuhagenga (if Hanahunu’s allegation is true) because the two cannot risk their lives against the law of the land and the people of West Rennell whom they betrayed for nothing.
Although there are many reasons that I can use to justify my argument that Hanahunu and Lelapitu’s refusal of the alleged $2,000 bribe by Tuhagenga did not demonstrate any evidence of their integrity; I will stand by the assertion that the two officers are not cheap to bribe at the point where their lives is now at high risk from selling West Rennell to Ray Chu, the owner of APID and his partner, Solomon Maui the project manager of APID.