LIBERIA: Margibi Legislative Caucus, Land Authority Hold Talks On Illegal Land Sales

From Christopher Wiah | GNN Correspondent | Margibi County|

The Margibi County Legislative Caucus has held a consultative discussion with the Liberia Land Authority  (LLA) to amicably address the rampant sales of land illegally in Liberia, especially in Margibi County, and its surroundings .

According to GNN Correspondent in the County, the meeting was held recently at the First Floor Conference Room of the Capitol Building in Monrovia, and was attended by the Chairperson of the Margibi County Legislative Caucus, Representative Tibelrosa Summoh Tarponweh; the Former Chairperson of the Caucus, Representative Ben A.  Fofana; the Co-Chairperson, Representative Ellen A.  Attoh-Wreh; Secretary, Representative Ivar K. Jones and the Caucus’s Chaplain, Senator Jim Tornonlah.

While the Liberia Land Authority was been  represented by its Chairman, Atty. J. Adams Manobah; Vice Chair, Hon. P. Blog Sayeh and Commissioner Kula L. Jackson.

In his opening statement,  Representative Tarponweh said members of the Caucus have received reports and complaints of illegal land sales by some “dishonest” individuals, most of whom are public officials.

The Margibi County District #1 Lawmaker asserted that Margibi is gradually turning into a large urban conurbation in Liberia, thereby leading to the increasing rate of land acquisition and construction of private properties. He warned of potential disaster if nothing is done quickly to arrest the rising wave of illegal land sales.

“The Caucus is overwhelmed with reports and complaints of illegal and dubious land sales by some dishonest individuals, some of whom are local government officials and other residents especially in the lower belt of the County. Contingent on the above, as direct representatives of the people, we wish to explore all avenues aimed at amicably resolving this crisis by holding broad based consultations with relevant stakeholders”, the Margibi County Legislative Caucus Chairman lamented.

Hon. Ben A. Fofana of Margibi County District #4 also stressed the need to have a county land structure.

Followed the deliberations of concerns from members of the Margibi Legislative Caucus, the Chairman of the Liberia Land Authority, Atty.  J. Adams Manobah vowed to affect their stance against illegal land sales and take serious action against government officials who are under their control and involved in criminal land sales.

But the Liberia Land Authority Boss complained of the lack of funding which has impeded the institution’s functions in fighting criminal land sales, administrating the deed registry, establishing standards and regulating survey and mapping services.

Atty. Manobah disclosed that the courts are another contributing factor to the land crisis in Liberia.

“The Probate courts are undermining the fight against illegal land sales. The court is issuing multiple letters of administration for just single plot of land; that embarrasses our works. The lack of funding for operations cannot allow us to implement our programs in aiding the process. We will take our own actions but the Caucus must help us”, Atty. Manobah explained.

Land conflicts have been singled out as one of the major threats to the peace and security of post-war Liberia.

Common causes of land disputes include the double sales of land and illegal possession and the encroachment of private and public properties.

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