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Sierra Leone News: Landowners and Sierra Rutile continue to meet in Court

On Friday 2 November 2018, Charles Francis Margai tendered an application for the amendment of claims by some landowners in Nyadehun Belleh, Imperi Chiefdom before Judge Abdulrahman Sesay of High Court on Siaka Stevens Street, Freetown. The landowners and Rutile entered into an agreement in 2013 to lease their farmlands to Africa Lion Agricultural Company, a sub company of Sierra Rutile limited for agricultural development, and to be compensated for their lands. The defence lawyer, Macauley, objected to the proposed amendment of statement of claims by the plaintiffs. He submitted that the entire claims of the plaintiffs had been completely changed, and that it is complete injustice in the face of justice. “The particulars were not correct but the plaintiffs proceeded in filing the claims,” said Macauley. Margai, however, affirmed to the Judge that if the proposed amendment was granted, it would give the opportunity to the defendants (Sierra Rutile and Africa Lion) to do another survey of the lands and crops that were destroyed as claimed by the plaintiffs. The farmers said they leased their lands for 25 years to Rutile and Africa Lion, and, since then, most of them have not been compensated for their property. Since 2014, the farmers have been deprived of their lands and many now live in deplorable conditions. The Judge did not give a ruling on the matter of amendment, and the matter was adjourned to 9 November 2018.

MCK/3/11/18

By Mohamed Cedric Kamara (Intern)

Monday November 05, 2018.

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