Retired Lieutenant Colonel weeps for justices …Lands Ministry

By Abu Bakarr Kargbo

President Bio with his squad mate, Retired Lt. Col. Gottor

Temporal Zinc structure destroyed

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Fatoma Sannoh Gottor of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) is not a happy man. This can even tell on his facial countenance each time he appears in public to vet out his anger against the Ministry of Lands, which has forcefully taken from him his 12 town piece of land situated at Number 2 Village in the Western Rural District Peninsular Area. His long service in the Army, some part of which he spent on international peace keeping mission, earned him the said property that he acquired legally in 2014, with all relevant signed documents issued to him by the Lands Ministry and he had his property registered at the Roxy Building. Retired Lt. Col. Gottor, who is currently the Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Ex-Service Men Association, had to spend Le100, 000, 000 (one hundred million Leones) to purchase the said property and processing of all relevant document in 2014 and later erected a zinc structure to house his Caretaker. After his retirement from the Army, Lt. Col. Gottor decided to develop his property with the goal of constructing a house and shop to make ends meet after leaving the military. He has so far put together about a thousand concret cement blocks to start construction when Lands Ministry Officials sneaked into his property in his absence to do a demarcation to sell to those that had approached them for the said property.

After he had foreknowledge about their desperate move, the former Senior Army Officer contacted the Lands Minister, Dr. Denis Sandy with his Deputy Alex Bhonafa who ordered him to present his relevant and authentic documents, which he wasted no time to present. He was also asked to submit a letter as against his wish to show proof of ownership. “I presented my documents and all that are required to show proof of ownership. I was later introduced to one Mr. Kebbie that was instructed to visit my property and to ensure that all demarcations are correct,” Lt. Col. Gottor explained and furthered that he was assured by his own Kenema Brother, who is the Deputy Lands Minister – Alex Bhonafa, that he will surely get his land.

What however astounded the Retired Army Officer is to see different people constructing temporal zinc structures in his property, one of which presented a document to him that was issued and signed in May 2020. “This was the time I realized that some parts of my land is been sold to other people. I was later ordered by the Deputy Lands Minister to vacate the land,” he said and further revealed that his temporal zinc structure was allegedly destroyed by the Lands Minister with some hired armed police and military personnel.

His several attempts made to reclaim his property has proved unsuccessful, which is why he is calling on President Maada Bio, the man he once served with in the Army, to intervene immediately. “My only hope for now is State House. I trust that the President would not want to see people like us fighting with his Minister to reclaim my property,” he noted.                

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