05/12/2021

Somon and wife Nabilah Bibi emerging from the Dumbea courtroom after the adjournment. Photo: Vanuatu Daily Post

Bangladeshi Restitution Claim Dismissed

One of the incarcerated Bangladesh national who was charged for bringing 102 Bangladesh workers illegally in Vanuatu had their restitution claim dismissed by the Magistrates Court.

The brief facts revealed that Buxoo Bibi Nabilah sought legal representation following her arrest by the Vanuatu Police. At the time, the Defendant, who is a Vanuatu professional lawyer John William Timakata was on the island of Ambrym.

Nabilah alleged that she met with Mr Timakata when he returned from Ambrym and paid him VT500, 000 to cover her legal fees. Thereafter, Timakata visited her while she was incarcerated at the Police station and provided her legal advice.

Later Nabilah saw an article in the Daily Post relating to Mr Timakata’s suspension from practicing which resulted in this claim before the Court. She lodged a complaint to the law Council and the law Council suspended the Defendant for practice for 12 month including costs.

In her case, she adduced evidence produced to the Law Council which resulted in the decision to suspend the Defendant from practicing law for period of 12 months and even Mrs Matariki did not disputed the fact that Timakata was present in meeting at the police station when she was in prison and at the Women Correctional Center.

At the time Mrs Matariki and other legal officer Rollanson Daniel provided Nabilah legal documents, legal advice and represented her in court and that was not disputed. When he was cross examined Mr Timakata confirmed his presence but at no point did he provide legal advice in his office.

Sheba Kaurua produced an unchallenged evidence that Matariki and Daniel did serve the claimant in which she signed an agreement with the firm for legal affairs in which court finds Kaurua to be a credible and reliable witness.

The court found that Nabilah entered an agreement with the legal firm belonging to Mr Timakata, not him personally. It also found that she received proper legal representation from Timakata and Associates therefore dismissed the restitution claim made against the defendant.

Nabilah was facing court on charges of human trafficking case with her husband Sekdah Somon, Anowar Hosain and Palas Hosan.

Nabilah was given 30 days to appeal the judgement.