Bahn Businessman to Sue Nimba Administration over Property Repossession

SACLEPEA, Nimba – A prominent businessman from Bahn, Wuo Queeglay, has informed The Bush Chicken of his planned action to sue the administration of Nimba.

According to Queeglay, he is taking this action against the county administration for benefits he believes are owed to him and other citizens. He said officials failed to provide him and others with resettlement benefits before damaging their property to complete a roads project.

Queeglay said he is not in any way impeding development in the county or Bahn in particular but that he is making sure that an illegal action is rectified.

“Let me be very clear and to the point that I am not in any way stopping the process of development in the county, but let justice be done,” he said.

“I am grateful to see such a wonderful development going on in our city,” Queeglay continued. “But again, I am disappointed about the damage to our properties by the government through the county administration, [especially] without the signing of any waiver agreement between the government and her citizens for breaking down their buildings or resettlement of any kind for our damaged properties.”

Further commenting on the merit of his lawsuit, Queeglay said his actions are backed by Article 24 of the Liberian constitution which calls for government providing prompt compensation to the owners of properties being repossessed by the government.

Queeglay said he does not have anywhere to stay because his properties have been damaged without proper notice.

“We attended a town hall meeting that was called for in Bahn City on August 2, 2015. During the meeting we agreed to the layout of streets in the city,” he said. “Without any other information, on August 12, 2015 our properties were marked for demolition and two days later the demolition process started. How can you provide such a short notice looking at the present economic situation of the country, where do we get money to build or rent a house right now?”  Queeglay said.

Queeglay, who owns a general store in Bahn, said his last option is to settle the matter in court. “I have engaged my lawyer and he is working on the lawsuit to be filed very soon,” he said.

He also said there were many others from Bahn and Karnplay in similar situations.

D. Dorr Cooper, Nimba’s Assistant Superintendent for Development and the head of the streets layout project, has declined to speak on the issue.

Cooper said he has much more to do than giving credence to statements that will detract the county from their developmental agenda, adding “We are committed to pushing Nimba ahead and that is what we are living up to. We need a change in Nimba.”

Cooper further disclosed that the ongoing city streets layout which commenced with Karnplay in Gbeley-Geh District a month ago will also include Saclepea and Tappita.

Featured photo of road construction in Ganta by Arrington Ballah

A resident of Ganta, Nimba County, Arrington has a background working with credit unions and other organizations dedicated to rural finance.

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