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By Ibrahim Alusine Kamara (Kamalo)

The Ministry of Lands in Sierra Leone has been accused of corruption and injustice, which could lead to conflict if not addressed. Officials at the ministry are allegedly involved in illegal demolitions of private properties, forceful seizure of lands, and other transgressions related to land ownership. The Salone Compass Newspaper has received numerous phone calls reporting officials taking advantage of poor citizens by dispossessing them of their lands and selling them later to party cronies or associates. Despite media exposure, no action has been taken by the anti-graft agency against those responsible for these crimes. Thousands continue to suffer corporate bullying and political intimidation from Lands Ministry officials using a barrage of laws to take possession of people’s property.

One victim is Alpha Conteh’s family who bought 4 acres from Alhaji Slowe at Tokeh but were forcefully dispossessed by ministry officials led by notorious land grabber Noah under the guise that it was government-owned land. Documentary evidence verified at the Lands Ministry shows that the land is privately owned property registered in Alpha Conteh’s name and family members’. Mohamed Conteh reported that Noah had earlier requested they surrender two out four acres but when rejected bulldozed their fence and building material while armed guards prevent access due to Dr Turad Senesie’s cover up.

Noah reportedly collected large sums before grabbing the 4-acre parcel using influence on Minister Dr Turad Senesie despite being aware it was documented with government offices as privately owned property. Efforts made to stop Land Ministry officials’ illegal actions have failed leaving victims hopeless while corrupt activities go unchecked leading some sources within the ministry lambasting its high level corruption practices.