25th June 07:33 PM
Police requested RFMF to provide armed protection when bringing Ratu Epenisa for questioning
By Semi Turaga and Rusiate Baleilevuka
Friday 08/06/2018
Ratu Epenisa Cakobau escorted by Police and armed military personnel [Photo: supplied]

The Fiji Police Force has confirmed that they had requested the Republic of Fiji Military Forces to provide armed protection in the event of any confrontation with traditionally armed warriors who had already arrived on the island of Bau when they went in to take Ratu Epenisa Cakobau for questioning this morning.

Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho says that they however maintained the lead role in the operation and the few armed soldiers were present for police protection as they are an unarmed Force.

Qiliho adds that they had also deployed the police martial arts trained officers this morning.

Ratu Epenisa and others are still being questioned by Police.

It is not clear at this stage how many people were taken in for questioning with him.

Police have also not confirmed where they are being questioned.

A team of officers were sent to Bau Island at first light this morning and took Ratu Epenisa and key players in for questioning after information was received that they were adamant on continuing with the installation ceremony despite the decision made by the Native Land Commission which was relayed to them last night.

Chairman of the Native Land Commission, Ratu Sireli Vananalagi Vesikula says they will not comment on the situation that unfolded this morning.

Yesterday, Vananalagi said it was evident that there was a split in the chiefly household of the Tui Kaba clan.

Ratu Epenisa Cakobau was supposed to be installed as the Vunivalu of Bau today but it has been called off after the Native Lands Commission found that the protocol has been breached in the selection of the proposed candidate Ratu Epenisa Cakobau.

Ratu Epenisa’s elder brother Ratu Joji Kadavulevu Cakobau had written to the Native Land Commission to dispute this decision.

The title of Vunivalu of Bau has been vacant since 1989. 

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