The MP decided to opt for a settlement as the matter continue to drag on in the court with no end in sight. During this period the matter has been heard at the Local Court and then an appeal at the Magistrate Court which had been going on until the Board’s intervention.
While the matter was in court, Mr. Lappia and Kawa’s mother continued to sell the land. A hundred and twelve people have bought plots of land from both. This includes Reverend Jeremiah Nyakoh who bought 20 town plots, Solomon Morgan 20 plots and Fatmata Bah 37 plots. All the others bought less than ten town plots with the exception of one who bought 12 plots.
Most of these purchases were made despite announcements on radio warning potential buyers against such action. The situation created heightened tension between the two families and also between Mr. Christopher Kawa and those who bought plots of land.
‘I had warned potential buyers not to buy any portion of the land or erect any structure but they just ignored me and went ahead to do just that,’ Kawa said in one of the meetings.
Upon receipt of the complaint from Hon. Sama Sandy, the Executive Director for the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles referred the matter to the office in Bo where the Regional Outreach and ADR Officer, Jack Harris organized mediation meetings with the two families and stakeholders including the Hon. Sama Sandy and the local Councilor of Ward 289, Lahai Alpha.
Due to the sensitive nature of the matter, a team comprising ADR Consultant Reverend Bob Kandeh and ADR Officer AlhajiAlgassimuSesayfrom Freetown was dispatched to Bo to join themediation team led by Jack Harris.
A delegation comprising Executive Director, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles; the Board’s Consultant, Francis Gabiddon; Head of Outreach and Community Affairs, Ibrahim Kamara and the Human Resource Manager, Bankole Morgan also joined the team to seal the mediation on Saturday, 18 August 2018.
The mediation was witnessed by the Chairman for the Civil Society Organizations in the South, JeremySimbo, Hon. Sama Sandy, Councilor Lahai Alpha and the Section Chief, Pa Langba.
Based on testimonies from members of the community, the team was able to establish that the land belong to the Kawa Family. This was graciously accepted by the Lappia Family. Both families were reconciled. This was demonstrated through warm embraces and statements to the effect by Mr. John Lappia and other members of both families.
It was further agreed that as custodian of the land, Mr. Kawa should ensure the land is used for the benefit of the family. As a result he should consult with the family regrading sale, lease or use of the land.
Also, land should be given to any member of the family who wants to build their own house or use it for development purposes.
The agreement reached provides that the Kawa Family will renegotiate all the land purchases. It emphasized that this should be at a reasonable cost.