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Bathurst Land saga…

Member of Parliament representing the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), Hon Roseline Hawa Siafa from Kailahun is at the centre of land grabbing allegations, peddling parliamentary influence being a member of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Lands to victimise and get an edge over others.

 The land in question is reportedly owned by Bathurst and Gloucester communities and said to have been reserved for community development purposes.

However, we learned how Hon Siafa has since claimed ownership of the said parcel of land with moves to assign it to a group of foreign investors for alleged selfish financial gains, leaving residents of the two communities unsettled for less in defence of their right to the land.

A release by the Headman of Gloucester Community dated 15th May 2024 insists that the said stretch of land is the bonafide property of Gloucester and Bathurst residents.

“Gloucester Community, a thriving and tight-knit community dedicated to the well-being and prosperity of its citizens, is ready to defend its rights to the community land that has been at the heart of its existence for generations,” states the release.

As the chairman of Gloucester Community, Headman Fredrick Hanciles affirms the land is their community property reserved for essential community facilities such as community school, a center for various community activities, a football playing field, and other communal purposes that benefit all residents of both Gloucester and Bathurst villages.

He describes the recent claims by Hon Hawa Siaffa that that land belongs to her as “unfounded” and “baseless”.

“We challenge her and her organization to present concrete evidence in a court of law to support their claim,” the Headman maintains, adding, “The claim by her fake organization that the court held that her predecessors in title document is valid is  unfounded as the matter Albademba company took to court was for recovery of possession.”

“The truth of  the story is that in 2008, the people of Bathurst called Hawa Saffa to help them prepare a document for the said land in return for a portion of land  to be given to her. One Mohamed Lansana was the surveyor in charge. The surveys were done in 2008 and the  name Ekundice Thomas was put on it and also back dated to 1991 so as to give them edge and to show that the property has been owned since that time. Hawa Saffa then proceeded to put portions of the land in her name first in 2010. In 2016, she and Stella Scott lobbied the ministry of lands to put the back-dated documents in the system, after that, she proceeded to survey the land again to out it in the name of the organization.  It is very clear evidently that Ekundice Thomas her predecessor in title had no land in 1991 at that area for his document to show 1991 which Hawa Saffa and her organisation want to use to lay claim to the land belonging to Gloucester and Bathurst,” the Headman Fredrick Hanciles asserts in his release.

Follow him as he lands in his defence of their right to the land: “The general public is invited to ask Ekundice Thomas Hawa Saffa’s vendor to tell Sierra Leoneans if he did his survey in 1991 as shown on his document.

‘We are confident that the truth will prevail, and justice will be served in favor of we the real people of Gloucester and Bathurst and not Hawa Saffa and Ekundice Thomas whose name was used to create a document in 2008 and back date it to 1991.

‘Our community has a long history of unity, cooperation, and shared values. The land in question has always been central to our identity and our way of life. It serves as a gathering place for community developments in future, a space for recreation and sports, and a symbol of our collective heritage.

‘We urge all residents of Gloucester and Bathurst Communities to stand together in solidarity and support as we navigate this legal challenge.

‘We remain committed to upholding our rights, preserving our traditions, and protecting the future of our community for generations to come.

‘Together, we will overcome this obstacle and emerge stronger than ever as a united and resilient community.

‘We also call on the Minister and Ministry of Lands to thoroughly investigate the ownership of Ekundice Thomas as reported in a letter by Lawyer Umaru Napoleon Koroma.

‘Our community and the public need to know how a 2008 survey produced a 1991 document which Hawa Saffa and her accolades have used to for long to intimidate our people and how she got such to be part of the records of the Ministry of lands.”

Meanwhile, elders of the two communities have raised great concern over how Hon Hawa Siafa could acquire a land from someone (Ekundice Thomas) whose Deed of gift is confirmed to have been given to him by his father who had “NO” title to the land stretching 97 acres.

Suspicion is also how the Deed of Gift could be dated 1991 while the survey plan carries the date of the same year.

Apart from all of this, the question now being asked is how the land was surveyed in 2008 but now being associated with the year 1991.

The elders are, therefore, throwing a challenge to Ekundice Thomas to come forward and disclose to the entire world when the land was surveyed and why he possesses a document from 1991 that they say “never existed.”

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