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GeneralLiberia news

Shaw cries for justice over disputed land

By Naneka A. Hoffman

A senior partisan of the Unity Party and renowned women leader in Montserrado County Electoral District#7, Mrs. Maureen Lavonne Shaw, is accusing former Senator Steven Zargo of Lofa County of forcibly possessing her two lots of land along ELWA highway in Paynesville.

According to Mrs. Shaw, the land in question was purchased by her late mother, Eugenia A. Cooper, from her uncle, Mr. Roland H. Cooper, in 1983.

She explained that there were adjoining property owners in her late mother’s deeds, so anybody who wanted to buy the property should have inquired. Still, unfortunately, she notes, the Ex-senator never bothered and, instead, went ahead and began construction on the premises.

“I personally have appealed to him in the past six years; finally, the land commissioner and I appealed to them,” she adds.

She further narrates that Liberia Land Authority conducted a survey on the land and invited all adjacent parties in the area to bring their deeds and technical diagrams to substantiate their claims.

She reveals that all those who presented deeds were Mr. Obinna Nwali, Ma Leemu, Ma Martha, the nearest Police Station, the Community Chairman, other surrounding property owners, and one Mr. James Cooper, but former Senate Steve Zargo never showed up nor presented a deed for the property that he is forcibly claiming ownership for.

She continues that surveyors from the Land Authority surveyed the land, and they identified that the two lots of land on which Mr. Zargo built his house belong to the late Mrs. Eugenia A. Cooper, who happened to be her mother.

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According to her, the Land Authority then wrote a comprehensive report and asked her if, since Mr. Zargo has a huge building on the property, she should just go ahead and resell the property to him through negotiation instead of going to court.

However, Madam Shaw explains that for the past six years, she wrote Mr. Steven Zargo when he was still member of the Liberian Senate, adding that her lawyer also wrote him letters on several occasions, citing him to a roundtable to negotiate purchase or repurchase of the two lots,  but did not receive any reply, and the former senator keeps ignoring her.

“I don’t think people who want to serve the public should have better moral character. If you know that you are on somebody’s property illegally, I think you should reach out to the person”, she notes.

She reminds Mr. Zargo that March is being celebrated as International Women’s Day and that the Bible stresses the need to consider the widows and orphans without help. Therefore, the property should benefit her and her family, as this was the reason her mother purchased it.

Madam Shaw says she is willing to sit on a roundtable with former Senator Zargo if he is willing to negotiate the sale of the land and settle their dispute.

She emphasizes that she doesn’t want the property or house that the former senator has built on the land, adding that all she wants is for Mr. Zargo to come and buy the land from her because it is the property that her late mother purchased for her, adding there are all necessary documents to prove that the land belongs to her.

According to her, Mr. Zargo is fully aware that the property is hers, noting that the only thing he told her was, ‘You Congo people are the only people that own all the lands.’

She recalls that when she engaged Mr. Zargo at that time, he had not started construction on the land, and she had been behind him in negotiating with him to buy the property because the land had been surveyed, probated, and registered at the Liberia Lands Authority.

A confirmatory survey conducted by the Liberia Land Authority partly reads: “On Friday, Saturday 25, 2020, at the hour of 10 AM, a team of investigators inclusive of Surveyor Augustus Ricks of the Liberia Land Authority visited the disputed land to conduct a confirmatory survey, which was predicated upon request by Madam Maureen Shaw, who challenged the investigative survey report that established Madam Maureen Shaw land to be the land occupied by Senator Steve Zargo.”

Mrs. Shaw laments that she doesn’t have money to hire a lawyer to represent her in court. She adds that since commissioners at LLA advised that both parties should sit together and negotiate, she is willing to sell the land to him.

When The NEW DAWN repeatedly called former Senator Zargo on Monday evening, March 11, 2024, for comments, he did not respond despite his number rang endlessly. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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