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Deputy Prime Minister says there was no agreement in $200,000 sue

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – 04 APRIL 2023: The lawyer for the Deputy Prime Minister, Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio told the court that there was never an agreement with businessman Alan Belcher who is suing Tuala for $207,000.

Central to the lawsuit is an excavator machine that Belcher allegedly sold to Tuala for $130,000 tala in 2014.

According to Belcher, he and Tuala had a verbal agreement regarding the sale of the excavator, but he only received $2,300 from the sale with the last payment received in 2015.

Originally, Belcher wanted to rent his machine to Tuala, but Tuala wanted to buy the machine hence the sale price for $130,000.

Belcher later realized that Tuala had sold the excavator for $40,000 to a third person in 2018 which he did not consent to.

In Court last week, Tuala’s lawyer, Fuimaono Sarona Ponifasio claimed that Belcher and her client never had an agreement and her client only rented the excavator for his personal use but never agreed to buy it because he did not have the money to buy it.

Fuimaono also pointed out that for four years, Belcher never made an effort to follow up payments or query the whereabouts of the excavator machine.

Belcher thought differently.

The case is yet to be heard, however, Tuala has filed for a $15 million security cost which was heard before Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke last week.

The security cost application is based on a “no agreement” between the parties.

When asked by Justice Clarke if her client had ever made and effort to return the machine, Fuimaono said “no”.

Belcher’s lawyer, Fuimaono Sefo Ainu’u argued that his client had had financial problems as Tuala had not paid what he owed his client.

Belcher has been residing in Samoa for more than 10 years and Justice Clarke is reserving his decision on the security application.