Tueaday this week was ?a black Friday at the Lands Ministry, Youyi Building in Freetown. Thousands of people who had applied for allocation of state lands for development purposes converged at the Lands Minister Dr. Bobson Sesay’s office at the Lands Ministry, to vent their anger and disgust over what they described as Dr. Sesay’s “embezzlement” of their monies and state funds, “for campaign purposes“.
Speaking to this Correspondent on Tuesday, a number of the aggieved and anxious land seekers said inter-alia that, for several years now, their respective land allocation documents have not been processed, because according to them, there are people who come from the USA and other Western countries who pay him (Dr. Sesay) hefty sums in US dollars or Pounds Sterling for the purpose of attaining land without going through the proper channel. The aggrieved people maintained among other things that they have been present on dozens of occasions spanning over two years to date, in which they had gone to see Dr. Bobson Sesay concerning their land allocation applications but that, he had side-stepped their calls by inviting into his office people who they could clearly discern had come from abroad and where seeking land.
The aggrieved people went further to accuse Dr. Bobson Sesay of encouraging tribalism; incompetence and a man who pretends to not be involved in corrupt practices, yet does not have any qualms about “chopping” people’s money in exchange for state lands. They cited a number of cases including the one at Hill Top View (a wide expanse of land) at Hill Station in Freetown, which they were made to understand had been surveyed and apportioned for use by extra-needy Sierra Leonean applicants for state lands.
However, according to one woman who begged anonymity for fear of not ever getting the land she applied for, “what Dr. Sesay is doing is to take or remove by force those people who had occupied this land for years; and then goes ahead without any qualms to sell plots of this land to the highest bidder“.
The woman went on to say that another area where Dr Sesay has infiltrated for the sake of selling to highest bidders is the Peninsula Area in Freetown. She maintained that as far as she knows, most of the spare lands from Waterloo to Goderich and beyond that are in the Peninsula Area, have been sold off to people who have “ready cash“, while those who do not, but are doing their best to obey the rules in attaining state lands are snubbed. She went to on say that at anytime she and the other applicants attempt to know the progress of their respective applications for lease of state lands for development purposes, their attempts are rebuffed by the Lands Minister, Dr. Bobson Sesay, who to avoid meeting and talking with them, directs them to see the acting Director of Surveys and Lands, one Mr. Jones who in like manner, redirects them to see either the Lands Minister or to see some other lesser Lands Ministry officials. “This is not only embarrassing but also a show of disregard for honest citizens” she said. She added that the said Mr. Jones is notorious for demanding “special fees” just to sign land ownership documents
In a similiar vein, a group of amputees who claimed that they had applied and had been approved to take possession of a piece of land situated at Lumpa, some miles away from Waterloo in the east of Freetown, complained that recently, they saw some people entering the said land, brandishing documents purporting that the said land had been sold to them by Dr. Sesay for $8,000 (eight thousand United States dollars). They maintained among other things that when they confronted the group of strangers on the day in question, they were told that they (amputees) should contact the Lands Minister Dr. Bobson Sesay. They added that when they eventually spoke with Dr. Sesay a few days later, he promised to come to Lumpa to settle the dispute. “And true to his word, Dr. Sesay came the very next day” one of the amputees said.
However, according to the amputees, Dr. Sesay after hearing the two sides, said that he had never at anytime, given the land in question to the amputees. But an amputee who described himself as the leader of the group, showed this Correspondent a number of receipts totalling Le 5,000,000 (five million leones) as payment for the land in question.
As at press time yesterday, the gates leading to the Lands Ministry on the third floor of Youyi Building, Brookfields were padlocked by angry mobs including the amputees. They were demanding that unless Dr. Sesay resign from his position or revokes the “bad decisions” he had taken, they would resort to doing everything in their power to not only unseat him, but also to ensure that he never takes any seat in any future government.
Nigerian, Salone man & Police in $ 889,000 419 scam
By Chernor Ojuku Sesay
Thursday February 16, 2006
The Sierra Leone Police and our courts seem to be unable to stop the spate of crimes perpetrated by 419ers believed to be Sierra Leoneans and Nigerian nationals.
The most recent one was when one Nigerian, Iasiah King Sambo and Bai Kargbo, a Sierra Leonean alias Capitalist, duped two British nationals to the tune of $317,000 for the purpose of selling them gold which later turned out to be copper dust.
It is almost three weeks now since the matter was reported to the Major Incidents Support Team (MIST) on the ground floor of the Police Headquarters, George Street in Freetown that is supervised by the Director of C.I.D. Mr. M. Lappia.
Though senior Police officers are said to have denied ?palm-greasing‘ from these 419ers, inside sources maintained that the investigations are being carried out at a snail pace. There are records to show that this is not the first time Mr. King Sambo is being interrogated by the Police whilst he has a number of cases he is facing in the courts for similiar offences.
Sometime in December last year, King Sambo was alleged to have duped one Sierra Leonean, Madam Melvina and her fianc� Mr. Wyne, a Japanese-American. The sum of $122,000 and the matter charged wrongly and neither was there a Prosecutor to prosecute the matter in the court. This matter was subsequently thrown out of court. Melvina and her partner as a result, were frustrated and flew back to the USA from where they came, but not without saying that they would spread the news in the USA about Sierra Leoneans colluding with crooked Nigerians to defraud genuine investors. “We shall tell Americans not to invest in Sierra Leone”, Madam Melvina said.
In yet another incident early this year, Mr. King Sambo was alleged to have fleeced a Spanish national $45,000. The Spanish having got the record of the operations of our courts and the Police system never forwarded the matter for prosecution.
A case of false declaration was also at Court No.6, presided over by Magistrate Davies-Cole when King Sambo made a false declaration purporting to be a Sierra Leonean and had obtained two Sierra Leone passports
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