Chief Simeon Poilapa IV has been declared as the Paramount Chief of Mele.
The appeal by Masaai Group and Dick Namata’s breakaway group of Mele against the appointment and ordination of Chief Simeon Poilapa IV as the Paramount Chief of Mele has been dismissed by the Acting Chief Magistrate Anna Laloyer Bollen in a decision delivered on Monday afternoon (November 26, 2018) in Civil Appeal Case No.3 of 2013.
In an oral decision by the Acting Chief Magistrate, the Court dismissed all the grounds of appeal raised by Mr Stephen Joel on behalf of the Masaai Group and Dick Namata’s breakaway group including grounds of bias.
The court pointed out that there is no evidence to establish there was bias. The Court also accept the decision of the Efate Island Court as to custom criteria for appointment of paramount chief is correct.
The Court accepts arguments put forward by Chief Simeon Poilapa IV’s lawyer Mr Felix Laumae.
The decision finally dispose of all the disputes, confusion and instability created by Masaai Group and Dick Namata’s breakaway group for the last 15 years after the death of late Paramount Chief Peter Poilapa III.
The decision of the Acting Chief Magistrate also upholds the long standing custom practices of Efate that chiefly title is inherited through patrilineal line-father to son.
The court finally orders the Appellants to pay the cost of Respondent Chief Simeon Poilapa IV.