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Late Chief Justice’s Wife Claims Will was Forged

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – 25 OCTOBER 2022: The claim by Iliganoa Daphne Sapolu that her late husband, Patu Tiavaasue Falefatu Sapolu’s will was forged by his sister and nephew.

Iliganoa’s affidavit was read out in Court yesterday and she claimed that her husband never left a Will.

She only found out about the Will after her husband’s funeral when her sister in law, Luamanauvao Katalaina Sapolu informed her of the purported Will which would be deposited with the Public Trust.

She said when she was informed of the alleged Will, she was shocked

She said she did not think much about it as her mind was elsewhere, especially that she just buried her husband.

However, a few days later, she texted her sister in law and asked her not to deposit the Will with the Public Trust but for them to meet which she claimed never happened.

Iliganoa was married to Patū for 28 years and according to her, their relationship was “intimate and based on trust” and she would have known if her husband had left a Will.

“He told me that there was no Will and that he would entrust all his assets to me,” said Iliganoa.

She accused Luamanuavao of forging her late husband’s signature on the Will and her nephew Maka Sapolu as an accessory to the forgery.

Iliganoa claimed that she is well familiar with her late husband’s signature and that was not his signature on the Will.

Maka Sapolu & lawyer
Maka Sapolu & lawyer

Maka Sapolu and lawyer Unasa Iuni Sapolu.

Beneficiaries of the Will
According to the Will, the beneficiaries were Iliganoa, Patū’s nephew Maka Sapolu, Patu’s three biological children and an employee.

Iliganoa said Patu’s biological children all reside in New Zealand

As for Maka, Iliganoa questioned why he was a beneficiary as Patū always treated him like a brother and not as a son.

Iliganoa’s affidavit also detailed Patū’s several illnesses which presiding Chief Justice Satiu Simativa Perese removed from her affidavit as there would be medical experts called to testify on that.

The parties to the hearing are Iliganoa Sapolu represented by Su’a Leone Mailo, the Public Trustee, Luamanuvao Katalaina and Maka Sapolu jointly represented by Shane Wulf and Unasa Iuni Sapolu.

The case continues.