By Idrissa Conteh
A huge bulldozer accompanied by armed police personnel was deployed on Saturday on high court orders to demolish Brigadier (Rtd) Gabriel Mani’s house at Spur Road in Freetown.
Rtd Brigadier Mani who was a strong man in the NPRC military junta had a court case with a Lebanese businessman who claimed ownership of the property at Spur Road.
Rtd Brigadier Mani, according to competent sources, had been living in the house for 25 years.
It remains unclear as to how the former senior army officer could occupy a property for a protracted period of 25 years only to be told the property was not his.
The bailiffs acting on court orders demolished everything in the house including a car that was parked in the compound.
Every household property was shattered into pieces leaving the family in destitute conditions.
In Sierra Leone, if a citizen gets a case with a Lebanese national, the Salone citizen gets 50% wrong even before the case is heard in court!
Inside, the Sierra Leone judiciary rots, and outside, it stinks.
As he exonerates Hisham Mackie…
‼Mohamed Ayoub Explains Demolition Saga
On Saturday 9th June 2018, a court order was executed on the home of former Brigadier Gabriel Mani at Sesay Drive off Spur Road and the names of Hisham Mackie and Mohamed Ayoub were implicated in the whole saga, but an interview carried out with the implicated persons, has revealed that Hisham Mackie had no hands on the said property and the whole exercise.
According to Hisham, his father, Hussein Mackie bought the land from one Moufid Rashid of ICC in 1996. In 2002, the late father, Hussein Mackie sold the said land to Fouzy Ayoub and relinquished all claims to it. As far as Hisham Mackie is concern, he stressed that he had hands off the whole land issue in relation to the said land. However our investigations say that Fouzy Ayoub, who bought the said land from the father of Hisham Mackie, the original owner of the land since 1996, is the uncle of Mohamed Ayoub. According to our information gathered from an interview with the latter, he bought the said land from his uncle.
On the issue of demolition, Ayoub maintained that it is a court order that was executed. He did not invite the police but were there on the request of the court to execute the order. In the course of our investigation, Justice Halloway was contacted and he confirmed dealing with the case and eventually issuing a court order. In an exclusive interview with Mohamed Ayoub, he confirmed that Hisham Mackie had no business with the land, as it was his late father that sold the said property to his uncle, Fouzy Ayoub, from whom he (Mohamed Ayoub) bought the land (with documents to the effect).
Ayoub further disclosed that since 2002, they (Rtd. Brig. Manni and himself) have been in court on the same matter, but then the Brigadier was not attending court in a bid to stall the matter. In 2012 the case came up after they had a change of lawyer. Manni was written to by their lawyer to produce documents for verification on his claims, which he failed to do. The lawyer then reverted to the court for adjudication. He further maintained that during this period Manni attended court and knew about all the proceedings. During the trial documents were produced which showed that the Retired Brigadier was given the said land in error by the Ministry of Lands under the belief that the land was government property, but after realizing their mistake, the ministry wrote to inform Manni of their mistake and asked him to quit the land, as it was private property, which he refused to do.
In 2013 the Rtd. Brig. In collusion with some officials in the Lands ministry prepared a fake conveyance for the said land in favour of Manni. Whilst the matter was still in court, Manni in 2017 went on to continue construction work on an unfinished building on the land to a 2 storey building. In 2018 the court gave its judgment on the matter, witnessed by Manni. And a letter accompanied by the Court Order was sent to him to vacate the land, giving him enough time to do so, but he refused until Saturday 9th June 2018 when the bailiffs in the company of the police turned up to execute the Court Order. Manni confirmed to the Bailiffs that he is aware of the judgment and the said Court Order and asked them to give him time to park out together with his family, which they readily did. The demolition went on peacefully without any hitch, but in the evening, Manni turned up with some military officers who chased the police security officers stationed on the site. This then saw the need for a truck load of police officers surfacing on the scene to restore order.
Mohamed Ayoub further explained that on Sunday 10th June 2018, the Rtd. Brig. Manni returned with 9 military officers, who then threatened anyone who will dare to enter the said land. They were on the land until mid-day on the same Sunday, when they were ordered off the land by the military headquarters at Cockerill.