Lands Ministry Clears the Air Over Land Fracas

By Amin Kef Sesay

In its 11th January 2021 Press Release captioned, “Unauthorised and Illegal Construction on a State Land along the Hill Side Bye Pass Road Going Towards the Kissy Road Cemetery” and signed by Israel B.K Jigba- Permanent Secretary, Tamba Dauda- Acting Director of Surveys and Lands, Augustine Kai Banya- Director of Housing and Country Planning, the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Country Planning revealed how it was notified about an illegal construction along the Hill Side Bye Pass Road on Wednesday 30th December 2020.

It furthered that the Ministry informed the relevant authorities, including the Police, for a stop work of any construction activity on the land.

“The Minister, Dr. Denis Sandy and some technical staff of the Ministry then made a follow up visit to the site on Friday 31st December, 2020 where the Minister in particular was assaulted and water splashed on him by persons placed on the land by the occupant,” the Release continued adding that the Minister requested that the relevant documents be produced for verification by the Ministry.

The Lands Ministry pointed out that those documents till date are yet to be submitted to the Ministry.

It also informed that the Deputy Minister, Mr. Rex Bonapha, visited the site on Monday 4th January, 2021 and was also attacked by youth in possession of stones, sticks, knives, machetes, etc, in full support of the Police and Military personnel illegally deployed on the land.

It said the situation was fuelled by Councilor Abu and other opposition stakeholders who wanted to mislead the public about the situation.
The Ministry said it wants to inform the general public that the deployment of those security personnel on the said land was not to its knowledge because their deployment on this State land did not come from the Ministry.

“It then took the necessary action to have the military men illegally deployed on the land arrested and handed over to RSLAF personnel for further action,” the Release pointed out.

The Lands Ministry concluded that the Police too have been withdrawn from the scene with firm instructions from the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs (Mr Lahai Lawrence Leema) adding how the Ministry has instructed for all construction activities on the land to cease with immediate effect until the land documents are produced to the Ministry for verification.


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