May 09, 2021 Last Updated 7:04 AM, May 7, 2021

By Netani Rika 

RATU Epenisa Cakobau has lodged a complaint against police and the army for his arrest on Bau Island on June 7.

The complaint was lodged at Nausori Police Station this afternoon.

Ratu Epenisa claims police and the military abused their powers by arresting him, his herald Ratu Jack Komaitai and a representative of the Gonesau Clan, Dr Ratu Joji Malani.

The men were seized by armed troops who burst onto the chiefly dwelling at Mataiwelagi around 5am.

The raid was ordered after police received reports that Ratu Epenisa would be installed as Vunivalu later in the day.

Earlier Native Lands Commissioner Ratu Vananalagi Vesikula ordered a halt to proceedings after claiming the correct selection procedures had not been followed.

His intervention came days after Vunivalu claimant, Ratu George Cakobau, visited Prime Minister Rear-Admiral Frank Baimimarama to complain about the installation.

By Netani Rika 

FORMER Prime Minister and Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA), leader Major-General Sitiveni Rabuka has called for calm after armed troops arrested a chief today.

Rabuka also called for respect for traditional protocols.

His comments came after the detention of Ratu Epenisa Cakobau in a dawn raid.

Ratu Epenisa was to have been installed as Vunivalu, head of the Kubuna confederacy.

But Native Lands Commissioner Ratu Vananalagi Vesikula halted the proceedings after claiming correct selection procedures had not been followed.

"I note with dismay the series of unfortunate events, where a High Chief was arrested today by armed military and police personnel, Rabuka said.

"Since the State of Emergency was lifted in 2012 with the repeal of the Public Emergency Regulations(PER), there is no place for participation of the military in policing matters, in a peaceful family and traditional setting.

"I urge the Prime Minister to respect Vanua protocols, respect our traditions of veirokorokovi, veirorogoci and the Vanua’s own problem-solving and mediation processes.I caution the Government to consider a peace-promoting and problem-solving approach to the Vanua, rather than the opposite."

Be not afraid

By Nanise Volau 
THE people of Bau have been urged not to be moved after the arrest of Ratu Epenisa Cakobau by armed troops early today.
Hundreds of people converged on Bau but the installation was ruled wrong by Native Lands Commissioner Ratu Vananalagi Vesikula late yesterday.
Vesikula said that after consulting the Minister for I Taukei Affairs and Prime Minister Frank Baimimarama, the installation could not go ahead because procedures had not been followed.
The church service was held to pray for Ratu Epenisa who is currently at Criminal Investigation Department headquarters in Toorak, Suva.
Police said his detention followed reports that the installation would go ahead.
Ratu Tevita Nauluvatu welcomed the congregation who had travelled from abroad and around Fiji to be part of the occasion.
"Let’s not go against the law but remain steadfast with faith that God will see us through,”
Ratu Tevita said. “Even if we have to stand alone because we will fight the truth.” Women and children bowed their heads with tears flowing down their faces.
Among them were Ratu Epenisa's wife, Adi Frances and daughter Adi Torika.
The Vunivalu position has been vacant since the death of Ratu Epenisa's father, the late Ratu Sir George Cakobau in 1989.
The Vunivalu is head of the Tui Kaba clan and overlord of the Kubuna Confederacy.

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