Chief Justice Worries Over Illegal Land Sale

-Says It’s Causing Instability

The Chief Priest of the Supreme Court of Liberia is deeply troubled over the growing waves of illegal sale of land in the Country as the situation is causing serious problem for the security of the nation.

The issue of land ownership and double sale land within and across Liberia had been a serious land dispute that has resulted to property damage and deaths on the other hand.

Speaking at the opening of the Supreme Court March 2020 Term, Chief Justice Francis Korkpor alarms over the prevalence of unlawful sale of land by some unscrupulous people in the country, a situation that is even more invasive particularly in the Urban area.

The Liberian law forbids the selling of a parcel of land to more than one person or entity, but despite these provisions of the law, Justice Korkpor indicated that criminal conveyance of land is at alarming proportions in the Liberian society such that if decisive actions are not taken now, it may undermine national peace and security.

Article 20(a) of the 1986 constitution of Liberia provides that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, security of the person, property, privilege or any other right except as the outcome of a hearing judgment consistent with the provisions laid down in this constitution and in accordance with due process of law.

Consistent with this constitutional safeguard to real property right, the Supreme Court has always taken step to protect the property rights of citizens and warmed trial judges to handle property matters with the outmost care and diligence, giving all party litigants every opportunity to appear and defend their property rights.

Chief Justice Korkpor emphasized that property, especially real property, and human life are to be handled with every available care by the courts.

The high priest bewailed:  if you deprive a man of his life, you deprive him of further existence on earth; if you deprive him of his real property unjustifiably, you deprive him of a basic means of existence that is seriously difficult for one to obtain in our time, and which stands to be more difficult to obtain in the years ahead.

The Chief Justice warming requires that judges afford all parties who stand to lose life or property every chance and patience to appear and to defend their cause according to the means accorded them by law should be maintained otherwise.

Korkpor revealed that efforts by the high court and trial courts to protect property rights are been seriously undermined and rendered futile by the illegal sale or occupation f land by unscrupulous citizens, which have in a number of cases resulted into violence and even death.

Making specific reference to a case involving the Republic of Liberia verse Roland Kaine, c maintained that the illegal sale of land and occupation of private lands in Montserrado county abound and are causing untold problems for trial judges as they attempt to uphold and ensure the rights of lawful land owners by possessing them.

Report from the 6th Judicial Civil Law Court of Montserrado County also indicates that writs of injunction intended to keep property cases in status quo until trial is concluded are often flagrantly violated.

While on the other hand, party defendant, and even others who are not parties to the case put up violent resistant in an attempt to prevent the lawful execution of the supreme court mandate by the Civil Law Court.

‘This trend cannot continue! If this is allowed unabated and with impunity, the net effect would be to circumvent the law, deny justice and have illegal property claimants prevail against the rightful owners’.

Accordingly; Korkpor calls upon politicians, opinion leaders, traditional leaders, chiefs and everyone with authority who can influence the conduct and behavior of others to prevail on those who are illegally selling or occupying lands that belong to other citizens of this nation to desist forthwith, or face all the consequences provided for under the law. TNR.

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