By Alfred Sasako
KERUVAL Tribe – one of three tribal groups on Russell Islands – has dismissed claims by rival group, Sevev Land Trust Board it has taken ownership of FTEs on Russell Islands, announcing it will challenge the claim in court.
Keruval Tribe will be challenging the claim in court, outspoken Russell Islands’ tribal chief, Silas Selo said yesterday.
This follows an announcement of the takeover by Sevev Land Trust Board Chairman, Leslie Norris, this week, claiming the Office of the Registrar has re-entered his tribal group in the register.
Mr Norris said Russell Islands is now out of bound for LSL, Lavukal Trust Board or their agents, warning anyone who disregards the warning risks charges of criminal trespass once they set foot on Russell Islands.
“This means that Lever Solomon Ltd no longer has any legal claims to the Russell Islands Estates. Any attempts by LSL to enter Russell Islands without the consent or permission of the Sevev Land Trust Board would be considered illegal and amount to criminal trespass,” Norris said.
But outspoken tribal chief on Russell Islands, Silas Selo, has hit back, saying the whole thing was “fraud”.
“First, the so-called registration of the FTEs was done under duress because it was done in 2000, the height of the ethnic tension.
“Secondly, Sevev Land Trust Board never owns a single FTE on Russell Islands. And that’s the truth. You can search the books on registration of FTEs and you will not find even a single FTE registered under the Sevev tribe,” Mr Selo told Island Sun yesterday.
“Sevev is not a tribe and that is why they do not own even a single FTE on Russell. The only tribal groups that own FTEs are Keruval and Lavukal, no one else,” Selo said.
In a letter to the Lever Solomons Ltd management, the Office of the Registrar of Titles said Re-entry of Sevev Land Trust Board (Incorporated) has been entered on 13 FTEs Register.
These FTEs are: 165-002-121, 165-002-123,177-003-2 177-003-3, 177-003-6, 177-004-2, 177-004-3, 177-005-1, 177-006-1, 177-006-3, 177-006-4, 178-001-1 and 178-002-1
But, Selo said this is not quite correct because a number of court cases are still pending.
“In fact there should have been 15 FTEs, but it is public knowledge that an individual who is working on behalf of Sevev Land Trust Board has sold two of these to someone as repayment of a loan,” Selo said.
“It would seem they have jumped the gun. Let me put them on notice that I will challenge their claim in court.”
Selo also produced a Company Haus extract, which shows a company called Solomon Pearl Ltd owning 70 percent and Sevev Land Trust Board (Incorporated) owning 30 percent.
“This shows this Sevev thing is owned and driven by one man, not the Sevev people,” he said.
Company Haus said yesterday Solomon Pearl Ltd was no longer in operation as it was removed from the register on November 1, 2015.