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Conteh Family Land at Tokeh …

Since assuming the role of Minister of Lands, Turad Senesie has taken pleasure in infringing upon the rights of Sierra Leoneans residing in foreign countries.

The Minister’s recent strategy involves using the pretext of land reclamation to unjustly seize the property of Sierra Leoneans living in the diaspora.

This has been accomplished effortlessly by the Minister, and one individual who has fallen victim to his unjust actions is Alpha Conteh, a Sierra Leonean currently residing in the United States.

In 2019, Alpha and his family acquired several acres of land in Tokeh Village. Prior to the purchase, the Conteh Family conducted thorough research to confirm the legitimacy of the land and its ownership through the Ministry of Lands, which confirmed that the land in question was privately owned by the then Tokeh Headman, Alhaji Slowe. All necessary documentation was verified before the transaction was completed between Alhaji Slowe and the Conteh Family.

A year later, the Conteh Family was approached by a Ministry of Lands official, Mr. Noah, who informed Alpha Conteh that the land in question was actually state-owned and even suggested that he share half of the property with him as a compromise.

Alpha Conteh refused to comply with Mr. Noah’s demands, leading the official to enlist the Ministry’s team, including the Minister, to dismantle the Conteh property’s perimeter fence, incurring significant financial losses. The Ministry proceeded to seize the land from the Conteh family and distribute it among various individuals, some of whom have already begun constructing structures on the land.

In a conversation with Alpha Conteh, a claimant and Sierra Leonean residing in the United States, he detailed the events surrounding his land purchase in 2019, including the encounter with a Ministry of Lands representative a year later and the subsequent developments. Alpha recounted his immediate trip to Sierra Leone upon learning that his land was considered state property, where he presented his documents to resolve any doubts.

Upon arriving in Sierra Leone and meeting with the Minister, Alpha submitted his land documents for review, only to have the Minister dismiss them and assert that “all lands in Sierra Leone are state-owned unless specifically granted by the government.” Following this unsuccessful attempt, the Minister reclaimed the Conteh family’s land and allocated it to certain individuals suspected of offering substantial sums for its possession.

Recently, this publication conducted an investigation to ascertain the current status of the disputed land, after multiple unsuccessful attempts to contact the Minister regarding the ongoing inquiry. It became evident that the Minister had distributed the land to several individuals believed to have close ties to those in power. The recipients included high-ranking police officers and influential figures within the government, thereby depriving the Conteh family of their rightful property.

The beneficiaries are now erecting permanent structures on the land, as evidenced by photographic proof of various construction projects and materials being transported to the sites.

The Conteh family has taken the matter to court to challenge the Minister of Lands’ decision, and potential buyers of the Conteh family’s land are advised to exercise caution.

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