Liberia: Land Dispute “Victim” Seeks Government’s Intervention
MONROVIA – A man claiming to be a victim of a land dispute is seeking the intervention of government to have a parcel of land reclaimed.
Johnny Hills said he accommodated Mr. Isaac Gbokin, alias Tiakpo on his piece of land after he (Gbokin) was evicted from a churchyard.
Hills alleged that Gbokin refused to leave his property after he was asked to do so.
“Isaac Gbokin was my close neighbor. I had a place at Daniel Chea Junction and the place belongs to his uncle. His uncle sold the place to a church named Solid Rock. When the church was ready for the place, he refused to move. The church sued him and he was later evicted. I took him to my place but when I got ready for the place, he refused”, Mr. Hills averred.
According to him, both the Civil Law and the Supreme Courts have made determinations into the case, ruling that he takes repossession of the land, but Mr. Gbokin has refused to vacate the area.
“I took him to the Civil Law Court and we went through the matter and I won the case. Cllr. Cooper Kruah, now Minister of Post and Telecommunications who is Gbokin’s lawyer, took an appeal to the Supreme Court and I also won the case”.
He said while the court was trying to enforce its mandate recently through its sheriffs, Isaac Gbokin’s son wasted acid in his face, thus effecting one of his eyes.
“While court sheriffs were trying to have me repossessed the property, Gbokin sent his son and wasted acid in my face”. As I speak to you one of my eyes can’t see”. Since I came from the hospital in Ghana I can’t see with this other eye.
Meanwhile, Mr. Hills has blamed Post and Telecommunications Minister Cllr. Cooper Kruah for his misfortune.
He alleged that Cllr. Kruah, who represents Mr. Gbokin in the case at the court, is colluding with the man to sell the land.
“Cllr. Cooper Kruah is the one behind the case. I was informed that Cooper Kruah told Isaac Gbokin that he will fight the case. Once the case is won, they will sell my property and he Kruah will get his share of the money. I can say it anywhere. This is Cllr. Cooper Kruah usual habit”, Hills retorted.
Mr. Hills is calling on the CDC-led government to ensure that the disputed property is reclaimed.
When contacted, Mr. Gbokin denied that the land in question belongs to Johnny Hills.
Gbokin also rubbished claims that his son wasted acid on Hills.
The old man said he bought the land in 1985.
“We went to court and I won the case. I was in Lofa and he sold the land to one Fullah man while I was in Lofa. I bought this land 1985. In fact, I bought it two times”. Johnny Hills asked me he wanted to build a night club in front of my land, but I refused because the man never wanted to have the discussion documented”.
Gbokin informed reporters during the weekend that the court ruled that Johnny Hills takes repossession of the land following survey. According to Mr. Gbokin, Mr. Hills decided to throw him out without conducting the survey. He also claimed his son was brutally handed by supporters of Hills recently.
“He came here one day with court sheriffs and told me to leave and I so I asked him to do the survey as mandated by the court. They threw out all my things. He ordered his boys to beat my son. They broke my son’s teeth in the process. They chopped his head”.
Meanwhile, Minister Kruah admitted representing the legal interest of Isaac Gbokin in the land dispute case, but rubbished claims that his involvement in the case was self-seeking.
According to him, the court has ruled that the ownership of the disputed parcel of land be handed over to Hills following survey.