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In Sierra Leone – Ministers involved in Approved School land deal

In Sierra Leone – Ministers involved in Approved School land deal

The new deputy minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Mr. M B Atlia has paid a visit to the Approved School compound at Wellington in the eastern part of Freetown.

According to the deputy minister, he had earlier received information about the alleged sale of the 44 acre land said to be property of  the Approved School at Wellington, east end of Freetown by the former deputy minister, Madam Rosaline  Oyah Sankoh (in photo)  in collaboration with  the former Minister of Land, Country Planning and Environment, Mr. Pat Sowe who has now been appointed as Minister of Fisheries and Marine resources, leaving less than 5 acres for the use of the school.

An NGO called Life Line Ministry, whose Deputy Director Mr. Prince Tommy Williams told this  medium that they have applied for plots of land to the Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs through the Ministry of Lands and was clearly approved since 10thJune 1996. But a member of staff of the Approved School said it is not true that the Life Line Ministry applied for a portion of land, but that Life Line Ministry actually asked favor from the school authorities to construct a temporal building so that they could take care of war affected people, such as the displaced.

Previously, according to our investigation, the entire Approved School was virtually occupied by illegal settlers. In the interim, one of the councillors in that constituency had grabbed vast portions of the said land while the former honorable for the constituency had also grabbed part of it. Also, it is alleged that even the personal security of Madam Oya Sankoh took part of the land.

Interestingly,  a ten-man committee was  set up by the outgoing minister whereby each member of the committee was to be compensated with a piece of land from the Approved School land. A letter was written to the effect by the out-gone minister addressed to the Lands Minister, Mr. Pat Sowe for approval of the offer of the land. Reliable sources close to the ministry directives were given to the Permanent Secretary in the ministry to do the necessary on her behalf.

See below details of the letter written to the former lands minister, Mr. Allieu Pat Sowe, and names of those that were supposed to be beneficiaries of the approved school land:

Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender & Children Affairs

New England, Freetown

 9th November, 2012.

Hon Allieu Pat Sowe

Minister of Lands Country Planning & Environment


Brother to our several discussions (Hon. Allieu Pat Sowe/Oya Sankoh) relatives to the above: I now wish to submit the list of names to be offered plots of land at Approved School.

The list is as follows:

1.  Lifeline West Africa Indigenous Ministries (4, 5427 Acres)
2.  Alhaji Rogers
3.  For Him (His Healing Helping Hands)
4.  Tamba A Domah
5.  Madam Adama Brown
6.  Mohamed Sillah Kamara
7.  Abu Bakar Kamara
8.  Approved School Working Committee
9.  Alusine Bangura
10.  Hon Alimamy Gibril Kargbo
11.  Ibrahim Bangura

Will be obliged if the letter could be sent to me for distribution.

Yours sincerely,

Rosaline Oya Sankoh

Deputy Minister

 Speaking to this reporter, Madam Rosaline Oyah Sankoh denied the allegations levied against her, describing them as false and malicious. She said it was because she stood firmly against those that had plans to forcefully occupy the Approved School land illegally that are setting up plans to rope her in.

She said the organization called Life Line Ministry had complained her to the Inspector General of Police but she had emphatically told the organization that the Approved School land was not for sale even though it had forcefully occupied a vast stretch of the said land.

Madam Oya Sankoh said she had told Lifeline Ministry in a letter that her government will not accept any form of lawlessness with people that refused to obey the laws of this country.

By Foday Marrah

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