Wednesday, July 28th 2010
His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma,
President of the Republic of Sierra Leone,
Dear Mr. President,
I attempted last Friday to have an appointment fixed for me to see you to discuss what I am about to address but because of your busy schedule I could not reach you. Your trip to Uganda over the weekend also made it impossible for me to access you therefore leaving me with little or no option but to address this letter to you.
Considering where we are coming from and coupled with the bond seemingly between our two families, it is with a heavy heart and a feeling of disappointment that I am writing this letter as all of these could have been avoided but for the bullying attitude of your wife Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma.
The subject matter of this letter is a piece of land measuring 3.2099 acres situate at the back of Hotel Bintumani, off Cape Road, Aberdeen. By a conveyance dated the 14th day of June, 2006 registered as No.153/2006 inVolume 103 at Page 85 in the Book of Conveyances in the office of theRegistrar-General, the said piece of land was conveyed to Basman Holdings Limited, a company incorporated in Sierra Leone under Cap.249 of the Laws of Sierra Leone 1960, with Bassam Basma as it’s proprietor. The then Minister of Lands, Housing, Country Planning and the Environment, Dr. Alfred Bobson Sesay acting for and on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone and therein described as the Grantor with Basman Holdings Limited as the Grantee, conveyed the said land to my client for the consideration therein stated.
Subsequent to the conveyance, a court action was instituted at the instance to my client (then represented by Serry-Kamal & Co., solicitors) against Sheka Mansaray, Abdulai Mustapha and the Attorney-General as defendants for allegedly laying claim to the ownership of the land. Judgement was on the 12thof June, 2007 pronounced against the defendants. They sought leave and appealed to the Court of Appeal but later withdrew the Appeal leaving my client as the undisputed legal owner of the land.
Preceding the court proceedings aforesaid, Wright & Co. Solicitors, acting on behalf of Basman Holdings had written a letter to the then Minister of Lands dated 21st October, 2001 which letter is self-explanatory. Again on the 21st of March, 2006, Serry-Kamal & Co. solicitors, acting on behalf of BasmanHoldings Limited, addresses a letter (self-explanatory) to the then Attorney-General.
Subsequent to all of this, Mr. Alfred Pallo Conteh, Minister of Defence bought a portion of the land from my client on which he is constructing a dwelling house.
Some months back the First Lady on her usual visit to my wife and I, expressed interest in part of this land and solicited my assistance in getting her to secure the portion required. I conveyed her desire to my client who was willing to sell part of the unsold land to her. When I conveyed the position of my client to the first lady, she retorted that she had no money and expressed the view that the land was to be given to her free of cost, this my client refused to accept.
On Friday, 16th instant, my client called me and reported that the first lady had posted two OSD personnel on the said land with instructions to prevent anyone entering thereon. I proceeded to the land and confirmed the presence of the OSD personnel on the said land who informed me that they were there on the orders of the first lady. They gave me their names and numbers as Marah M. No.12598 and James Bangura No.12581.
On Saturday, 17th instant, at the invitation of the Vice President, a meeting took place at his residence with the Minister of Lands and I in attendance at which we fully discussed the land issue as narrated herein coupled with the conduct of the first lady. The Vice President promised to convene another meeting at which the first lady would be present for us to amicably resolve this impasse, but this was not to happen.
To my surprise and disbelief when I visited the land on Friday 23rd instant, I discovered that in addition to maintaining the presence of the OSDs aforementioned, the first lady had deposited a pile of sand on the land and constructed a makeshift structure (pan body) on my client’s portion of the land.
On Sunday 25th instant acting on information received, my wife and I visited the site and observed that a portion of the land adjacent to Alfred Pallo Conteh’s which had been conveyed to my wife and I, on which we had placed beacons to identify the said portion, had been uprooted.
It is my view that the behaviour of the first lady could best be described as unfortunate if not an abuse of her status. As first lady, she should be concerned with maintaining a cordial relationship with all and sundry and not creating enemies around her.
I understand that her claim to the land dates back to 2008 when Mr. Benjamin Davies was Minister of Lands etc etc. As a lay person not grounded in the law she was most certainly deceived by Mr. Davies and officials of the Ministry then, who represented the land to be State land, contrary to existing facts. By attempting to pass on that which the State had dispossessed itself of in 2006, with respect to the Minister, Mr. Davies, is a blatant violation of the popular legal maxim of nemo dat quod non habet (no one gives who possesses not).
I have hereto attached the following:-
(a) writ of Summons in the action 107/07 B No.19
(b) judgement dated 12th June, 2007
(c) letter from Wright & Co. to the then Minister of Lands dated 21st October, 2001
(d) letter from Serry-Kamal & Co. dated 21st March, 2006 to the Attorney-General
By reason of the premise, it stands to reason that the first lady’s claim to the land is not only misguided but totally misconceived and affords no basis for her behaviour as hereinbefore highlighted. I therefore suggest the following:-
My client is not averse to selling a portion of the unsold land to her, his objection is that he takes exception to the manner of behaviour adopted by the first lady in the circumstances.
I look forward to an amicable resolution of this matter, obviating the necessity of a recourse to other options.
C.F. MARGAI ESQ.
Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma,
First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone