Violence rocks Tombo Community … police investigate land dispute
Report reaching this reporter states that some claimants of her 52 acres of land at Gbampor Village in the Tombo Community, Western Area Rural District; are currently being supported by their godfathers in high places not only to muzzle the rightful owner, Mrs. Tabitha Venn, but to eliminate her completely from the universe.
The police in Tombo are currently investigating a case of wounding and riotous conduct reported to the station over the weekend.
According to one Mr. John Coker who purchased two acres of land from Mrs. Tabitha Venn (in photo) at Gbampor Village, he stated that he entered the land together with his boys on Saturday 18th January 2014 to develop his plot. “Whilst we were trying to cut down a mango tree, we were attacked by sons and other relatives of Pa Morlai Kamara who is residing close to my property,” he said. Pa Kamara who is also claiming the said land is alleged to have ordered his sons to attack whosoever entered the said property. The unfortunate attack led to two of Mr. Coker’s men being chopped with cutlasses by the two sons of the claimant, Pa Morlai Kamara. The police invited the suspect, Pa Morlai Kamara to make statement, whist the victims were hospitalized.
Samuel B. Lefevre of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) at the Tombo Police Post told this repoter that they have already obtained statement from all parties concern, including Mrs. Tabitha Venn. “We have received all necessary documents from Mrs. Venn that are already being filed. We have called for Pa Morlai Kamara’s documents, but we are yet to receive any,” he said, and added that no sooner they complete their investigations the matter will be charged to court.
The Deputy Village Headman of Tombo Village, Mohamed Orthaim Bangura said he is being instructed by his boss to place a flag on the land in dispute so as to prevent more problems. “When the rightful owner is identified we will hand him/her the property. For now we will secure the land until all relevant documents are produced,” said the Deputy Headman.
Speaking to this repoter over the weekend, the land owner Mrs. Tabitha Venn said she acquired the 52 acre land from her late grandmother, Madam Yeabu Janet Wellington. “Since 1961 my grandmother has been telling that the property belongs to me,” she said. Madam Venn recalled a particular moment when one Pa Sinneh Gbampor approached her grandmother to request for a piece of land for his fishing activities. The said property was provided for a minimum rent fee. Report states that Pa Sinneh Gbampor is said to have brought in the present claimant, Pa Morlai Kamara to join him in the business.
The rented property was inherited by Pa Kamara on the death of his boss, Pa Sinneh Gbampor. Report states that Pa Kamara presented himself as ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’, which caused the late Madam Yeabu Janet Wellington have some amount of confidence in him. Little did the late woman know that the fisherman, Pa Kamara’s intention was to take over the entire property. Even though he was informed that the land should be inherited by Mrs. Tabitha Venn, who was then residing in Liberia; the fisherman ignored this fact and thought it wise to devise strategies that would have divided the 52acre land to earn himself the greatest portion. One of the strategies he applied was to contact some senior authorities like a High Court Judge to grab a portion of the land.
On her return from Liberia in 2002, Mrs. Tabitha Venn also followed the footsteps of her late grandmother by giving much hospitality to Pa Kamara, whom she thought could have served as an honest tenant/caretaker. Mrs. Venn’s offer of one and half acre of land together with building materials as part of a relocation support was rejected by Pa Kamara.
Giving his own side of the story, Pa Morlai Kamara said “I am not a caretaker for anybody”, adding that the land Mr. Coker was about to develop belongs to him. “I prevented him from cutting down my mango trees. I have a large portion of land and the documents will soon be taken to the police,” he said. Pa Kamara further told this repoter that he entered the land in 1960, and he worked with the late Pa Sinneh Gbampor to develop the said property.
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