Grace Road saga | ‘Locals being used to pervert cause of justice’ – Minister

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Minister for Home Affairs and Immigration, Pio Tikoduadua receives the petition from Yadua village reps, Samuela Bureicegu and Nemia Builoma outside the Government Building New Wing in Suva on Thursday, September 14, 2023. Picture: MERI RADINIBARAVI

Home Affairs Minister Pio Tikoduadua believes locals are being used in the Grace Road saga “to try and pervert the cause of justice”.

His comments come after landowners from Navua and Yadua Village, Sigatoka presented their petitions, in favour of Grace Road president Jung “Daniel” Yong Kim.

“To be very honest, I’m getting this impression that one: Grace Road, the institution, is being dragged into this issue, which as far as I’m concern is unrelated to it; two, that locals are being used to try to pervert the cause of justice in my view,” Mr Tikoduadua said.

“That is my concern, but any way, the matter is before the court,” he added.

“People (in) Fiji have rights, I’m standing here and I’m receiving this application, this petition on behalf of those who are coming. Yesterday (Wednesday) was Navua, today (Thursday) is from Sigatoka and we are happy to do that.

“But we have also, through government, made it very clear the reason why we are doing this. It was neglected, it was left out, the law must be met, the law is permanent, and we are following the law here. We’ve been following it from day one.

“But I see here, in the last few days, that people are maybe being used and I hope the people will understand because it’s their discernment.”

He said Government would proceed with the appeal process and that’s “up to them to make that discernment about that, but that’s my concern”.

“This is a matter of discernment really and that is really my concern because I have explained, and if I could speak Hindustani, I would also explain it in Hindustani.

“But I have explained it both in English and the iTaukei what a red notice is, which has been issued since 2018.

“Fiji, under our obligations, are following that. It has been altered at the moment by a court order. There is a process in court and that is the process we’ll follow.

“In the meantime, we are receiving petitions such as this, which we are happy to receive. The matter is before the court and that’s where it rests. I am getting this trend that people are being used and I hope that people will discern. They are here showing their concern, that’s fine.”

Mr Tikoduadua said he understood the concerns raised by employees of the organisation and “sympathise with them”.

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