Community Head Evades Authorities After Assault on Bailiffs Amidst Land Dispute
Hassan Marrah, the Headman of John Obey Community, is currently evading authorities amidst accusations of orchestrating a violent assault on bailiffs executing a court order to assist the Monneh Williams family in reclaiming 176 acres of land.
This incident unfolded on Monday, November 13, 2023, prompting an intensified search by law enforcement agencies. Police authorities are actively pursuing Marrah, the Councillor, and committee members believed to be involved in the attack. To date, at least 12 suspects have been apprehended to assist ongoing investigations into the violent altercation.
Upon entering the disputed land, bailiff officers faced immediate aggression, leading to violent attacks allegedly orchestrated by individuals, including aggressive youths from within and neighboring communities. The assailants reportedly used locally-made petrol bombs, stones, bottles, machetes, and knives, posing a severe threat to the safety of law enforcement officials.
In response to the escalating danger, police forces utilized teargas canisters and warning shots to disperse the attackers and restore order in the area.
Numerous court rulings and affirmations from the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Country Planning consistently recognize the Monneh Williams family as the rightful owners of the disputed land. The High Court of Sierra Leone (Land & Property Division) issued a decisive ruling on October 18, 2019, in favor of the family, mandating the recovery of possession, damages for trespass, and an injunction against further encroachments.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Country Planning reaffirmed the High Court’s decree in a letter dated August 28, 2023, officially acknowledging Marie Kargbo as the rightful claimant to the property at John Obey.