Margibi- The Glazon community along the Kakata Highway established 2014 has been faced with the illegal sale of land that has led to dispute among buyers.
Mr. Robert Gust, Co-Chairman of the community said since the establishment of the community, there have been disputes.
He said in the land dispute, those who are strong fighters are always victorious, while the weak find another option.
Madam Cecelia Yeagar, a local resident of the Glazon community said she had been affected by this “unlawful” act, noting, the land on which she now resides was sold to her by the wrong person, and the rightful owner is now asking her to rebuy the property or vacate the land.
She expressed frustration saying, she has no idea as to where and how she might get additional money to save her home.
Meanwhile, another community resident, Mr. Simeon Flomo indicated that an alley with a shop and house attached alongside a well is denying him quick access to the main road.
He mentioned that they have tried to speak with the owner, but he is not willing to listen, adding, the land dealer from which he bought the half lot confirmed that there exists no alley to where he is situated. But Mr. Flomo and other inhabitants attested that the alley is clearly shown on their deeds.
Madam Duborma King, one of the land administrators in the area said, the land is large and her family members are many, most of whom she said, sell the land illegally.
Madam King urged that those wanting to buy land in the area should do thorough research of the rightful owners of the land, as well as do a proper background investigation before buying land.
Mr. Emmanuel Toby, Officer-In-Charge of the Liberia National Police said, Mount Barclay Police detachment of the Township of Johnsonville which is closer to the land dispute area is the first point of the intervention of reports of illegal sale of land.
Officer Toby narrated that land disputes have been rampant over the past time but reported that it was now reducing due to their intervention.
“The cases have dropped to at least 3 to four per week”, Mr. Toby said. He further explained that in solving the dispute, the parties involved are summoned along with the land dealer.
The first determining factor of the real owner is the one with prominent deed who also is paying taxes to the government. In this case, he said the one with the non-permanent deed is asked to relocate or demand a refund of his money.
However, if such intervention fails due to the severity of the matter, Officer Toby intimated that the case is then transferred to Bensonville Magisterial Court or any nearby high court that is clothed with the authority to handle such case.
In 2018 The Liberia Land Authority (LLA) named Montserrado, Margibi, Nimba, Bong, and Grand Bassa counties as the “red zones” of land conflicts in the country. This assertion comes against the current backdrop of a spate of land-related conflicts which appear to be on the increase.
The LLA said Liberia is overwhelmed with land cases, indicating that the rural communities are also experiencing the problem, especially those involving boundary disputes between clans.
According to the LLA, Margibi is seriously overwhelmed with land cases, including Duazohn community. It’s considered as the corridor of land problems in Liberia. Marshall and Todee have many land cases ranging from double sales to fake ownership. Bong, Nimba, and Montserrado continue to have more cases.
The LLA introduced the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) layout procedures are geared toward resolving conflicts
ADR includes dispute resolution processes and techniques that serve to bring disagreeing parties together, short of litigation. It is a collective term for the ways that parties can settle disputes, with the help of a third party. This involves handling land cases outside of the court, which is less expensive and works for contending parties.
This story is written by SheWrites, SheLeads as part of its Mentorship Program.