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Crime & PunishmentGeneralLiberia news

Pastor, 2 others wounded

-In bloody land dispute

By Franklin Doloquee/Nimba County

A land dispute in Ganta, Nimba County has left a pastor of the Salvation in Christ Ministry (SICM) in Ganta and two other persons wounded.

The victims were allegedly attacked by one Melvin Guanue who is claiming ownership of premises of the Church compound and other land.

The incident occurred over the weekend when Pastor Othello Fayiah and two of his church members had gone to do some renovation work at the Church, but they were reportedly attacked by Suspect Melvin Guanue and two of his family members.

Narrating his ordeal to the NEW DAWN at AGAPE Health Clinic in Ganta, Pastor Fayiah said he along with 17-year-old Aldophus Paye and Jefferson Gbaseh, 18, were carrying out renovation work when Suspect Melvin Guanue, accompanied by two family members moved in the Church and wounded them multiple times.

(l-r) Pastor Othello Fayiah with two members

According to him, since 2007, the Donzo Family gave them the land on which the Church is located.

He said following cessation of hostility in Ganta in 2003, they returned to the provincial city in 2014, but Suspect Melvin Guanue came in to claim the land, a situation that landed the Guanue and Donzo families at the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court in Sanniqullie.

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Pastor Fayiah explained that since both parties went to court, Suspect Guanue continues to go under cover of darkness to demand the church to give him money, while the case is still in court.

He noted that Guanue’s alleged action was intended to stop them from carrying out work at the church.

After the reported attack last weekend, Suspect Melvin Guanue and two of his family members are allegedly on the run. 

Also speaking to this paper, a caretaker of the property, Dutee Donzo said the Donzo Family gave the land to the Church in 1997 and it has been used for Church purposes.

 However, he revealed that after the fall of Ganta in 2003 and they returned in early 2004, Suspect Guanue came in to claim ownership of the land.

He called on government to address huge land disputes in Ganta before it takes a different trend, cautioning that government’s refusal to address various land disputes in Ganta may likely result in serious violence.

This paper gathered that there are more than ten land cases in Ganta that government is yet to address. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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