LSL slaps $50m High Court order on government
THE Government has been issued a $50 million payout ordered by the High Court just as it is struggling to meet other commitments, including the Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) payouts.
Lawyers acting for Levers Solomon Ltd [LSL] have issued the High Court Order as well as an Order for the eviction of police from the Hell’s Point land east of Henderson Airport.
The Court eviction order is effective immediately and lapses on 16th November this year, documents obtained by Solomon Star show.
These High Court orders relate to a case between Levers Solomon Ltd and the Solomon Islands Government. It dates back to 14 August 2017, according to the papers. The initial order gave the Government until 31st October 2017 to settle the $50 million debt.
Attorney General was named the Enforcement Debtor on behalf of the Government in the current Orders, the papers show.
Notice of the High Court Orders was served on the Attorney General, Commissioner of Lands, Commissioner of Police, and the Accountant General last Thursday 14th January 2021.
A lawyer explained to the Solomon Star, that the orders were via consent. This means that SIG agreed and signed to these High Court orders to be issued.
The Commissioner of Lands, Alan McNeil, has confirmed having received a copy.
“I confirm I have received the Order, and I am awaiting legal and financial advice on this,” Mr. McNeil told Solomon Star by email yesterday.
In a cover letter, attaching the Court Orders, it included. “A Consent Order was executed between LSL and the Solicitor General representing the Commissioner of Police and Royal Solomon Islands Police Force on 14 August 2017 (“the Consent Order”) in relation to the above proceeding. You signed the agreement to purchase this land, which formed part of this proceeding.
“On 2 November 2017, the Court signed, sealed and perfected the Consent Order”. A Certificate of Orders was subsequently issued under section 23 of the Crowns and Proceedings Act, Cap 8 on 15 May 2018.
“LSL further renewed an enforcement order against the Commissioner of Police and the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force for their eviction upon service of these orders.
“The Sheriff will seek the assistance of the Commissioner of Police, to enforce the order of the court, to evict the Commissioner of Police and all officers under his command,” Alice Willy of A S Willy Law Office, wrote in a cover letter of the Order.
This would mean the Police will be evicting themselves.
The High Court Order states:
- Judgment be entered for the Claimant, (consented);
- The defendant procure that all persons occupying the lands subject of these proceedings be removed permanently;
- The defendant is to pay Plaintiff a sum of $50, 000, 000 (Fifty million Solomon Islands Dollars) together with any sum not already paid to the claimant by or on behalf of Defendant in respect of the parcels of lands known as Bloody Ridge and more specially mentioned in the Schedule attached hereto
- Upon payment in full of the sums referred to in the foregoing order, the Claimant is to transfer the said lands to the Defendant forthwith
- The defendant is to pay the Claimant’s costs
The amount recoverable under this Order (is) as follows:
The Debt: $50, 000, 000.00
Other costs being recovered are:
Filing Fee: $85.00
Service Fee: $115.00
Costs: $ Nil
Apart from the Commissioner of Lands, Solomon Star understands that similar notices, attaching the court orders, were also served on The Commissioner of Police, The Attorney General, The Accountant General and the Minister for Finance and Treasury.
The Solomon Star reached out to the Commissioner, the AG, and Treasury but did not receive a response.
The Solomon Star also reached out to Lever Solomons Limited for their comment, but no comments were received from the office of Alice Willy, solicitors acting for LSL.
By Alfred Sasako