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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Parliamentary Committee on Lands Resolves Land Dispute

HomeNewsParliamentary Committee on Lands Resolves Land Dispute

Parliamentary Committee on Lands Resolves Land Dispute


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The Chairman of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Lands, Country Planning and the Environment, Hon. Quinton Salia Konneh has amicably resolved the land dispute between the Dr. Bell/Renners and Sawyer families at Banga Farm, Sussex, along the Freetown peninsula.

The land dispute has dragged on for over 12 years and even when the High Court ruled in favor of the Dr. Bell/Renners, the matter was not resolved. 

Hon. Konneh revealed to all stakeholders at the site that the committee received a complaint after which they launched an investigation into the matter starting with the introduction of the methodology for the investigations that was approved by the two parties, later came up with their findings and assured all that the investigations were transparently conducted, objective and unbiased.

He further informed that the Committee Chairman has the powers of a High Court Judge, that land has become the most expensive ‘mineral’ in Sierra Leone and appealed to all to maintain the peace and have confidence in the surveyors.  

According to Hon. Konneh, the land dispute is not major as the two parties are only accusing each other of encroachment of the two adjacent lands that overlap informing that surveyors from the two parties and the government surveyors conducted the investigations, that two drones crashed during the process of conducting the survey and that each cost between 6-7 thousand dollars.

Prior to reading the report, the chairman of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Lands established the ground rules that included maintaining decorum, that nobody should make undertones and should taking through the Chairman. 

The head of Investigations in the Ministry of Lands, Mr. Mamadu Jallohrecalled few months ago when they received the complaint and that the Director of Lands instructed him to conduct the survey that was done with the licensed surveyors of the two parties during which they used GPS points that work with satellites in space that sends signals in the form of binary numbers.

He continued that they compared notes, processed the information into GIS and disclosed that unlike the Sawyers, Dr. Bell’s plan has reference points and coordinates dating back to the colonial period.

Dr. Bell/Renners have 30.6 acres of land in the area.  

The headman of Sussex Village, Teddy Sawyer, the Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Benjamin Turay, the Local Unit Commander and other stakeholders attended the meeting.

People interviewed in the community expressed satisfaction over the ruling that has finally put the protracted land dispute to an end once and for all for which they commended the Chairman and members of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Lands for a job well done.   

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