Kakata — The Government of Liberia and the Salala Rubber Plantation Company (SRC) have suffered a big criminal blow in an ongoing Petition for Declaratory Judgement prior to the thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court in Kakata, Margibi County.
On Tuesday, Assigned Circuit Judge His Honor Cllr. J. Kennedy Peabody denied and quashed the Government of Liberia Motion to Dismiss a Petition for Declaratory Judgement crammed by way of 22 communities positioned in Margibi County.
FrontPageAfrica Judicial Reporter who witnessed the continuing stated Government and SRC legal professionals fumbled to protect the Motion to Dismiss because the Communities legal professionals represented by way of Green Advocates International prevailed with the Assigned Judge maintaining the Resistance to the Motion to Dismiss.
Following criminal arguments into the Motion to Dismiss, His HonorJudge Peabody dominated “Wherefore and in view of the foregoing facts and circumstances, it is the considered opinion of this Court that there are factual issues raised which needs evidence taking since the parties are contesting over the subject property hence, the Motion to Dismiss is hereby denied, overruled and the resistance of the Respondent/Petitioner is hereby sustained for their reasons stated”.
The Motion to Dismiss crammed by way of the Government of Liberia grew out of a Petition for Declaratory Judgement crammed by way of the Petitioner, a complete of twenty-two communities together with 37 villages and cities looking for the help of the Court to claim their rights to land being coated by way of Salala Rubber Plantation Company.
The Petitioners indicated in their petition that they’re pre and post-independenceinhabitants of land that was once granted to SRC by way of the Government of Liberia thru a concession settlement.
During argument Government legal professionals led by way of Cllr. J. Adolphus Karnuah, II assisted by way of SRC legal professional, Cllr. Albert Sims mentioned that the Public Land Law of Liberia 1956 declared the land which is topic of the Petition for Declaratory Judgement a public land and thus the Government of Liberia was once legally proper to grant the land to SRC thru a Concession Agreement.
Government legal professionals additionally argued that the Government is the unique house owners of all land and has the fitting to offer land to any person or corporate for concession function.
In additional argument, Government legal professionals additionally indicated that the Petitioners have sat for such a lot of years with out elevating any factor and can’t now be claiming to have rights to the land coated by way of the Concession Agreement and thus don’t have any criminal capability to sue.
In counter argument, Green Advocates Lawyers led by way of Cllrs. J. LavelaSupuwood, Amara M. Sheriff, Margaret M. Nigba and Atty. Samwar S. Fallah insisted that the communities have the capability to sue as a result of they’re electorate of Liberia and feature been dwelling at the land which is topic of the Petition for many years prior to the Government of Liberia granted the Concession settlement to SRC.
The Respondents additionally stated there’s no statute of obstacles in bringing an motion to claim rights and search reduction in opposition to the Government of Liberia.
Following long criminal arguments, the Presiding Judge His HonorPeabody dominated that the Petitioners have the capability and the Petition for Declaratory Judgement wishes proof taking and subsequently the Petition can not and must now not be disregarded as asked by way of the Government of Liberia.
The denial of the Motion to Dismiss is a large criminal blow to the Government of Liberia and SRC as FPA reporter seen that the communities are very united and firmed in having their rights to the land declared by way of the Court.
The Court room was once parked with other people from the communities who tuned out in huge quantity to witness the listening to. After the listening to, the Petitioner have been rejoicing and chanting slogans “We want our rights, we want our land”.
Abraham Kamara, who’s now blind as he claimed this can be a results of maltreatment by way of SRC safety stated SRC has overtaken all their land they usually now wouldn’t have any place to make farms.
“We have nowhere to make farms, the rubber trees have circled our towns and villages and we cannot survive”, stated Kamara.
Kamara stated for too lengthy SRC has lost sight of the native communities, forcefully got rid of them from their normal land and subjected them to struggling.
James Whale, some of the Petitioners additionally stated they’re dwelling in excessive poverty as a result of they’ve nowhere to make farms with in all places now coated by way of SRC rubber.
Whalee additionally stated the graves of the forefathers are actually below rubber timber with SRC losing chemical compounds at the lifeless and in addition their cultural shrines, snakes’ timber and different conventional puts are not in lifestyles.
He stated being attentive to Government legal professionals pronouncing as a result of they’ve now not sued the federal government way back it method they comply with the movements of the Government and SRC, Whalee stated as communities they’re already struggling and wouldn’t have the cash to rent legal professionals to combat for them in opposition to the Government that is why it has taken goodbye.
“We are happy for Green Advocates to come and fight for us. We been suffering for long but we didn’t have money, that’s why we have not been able to come to Court but it does not mean be are happy with what been happening to us,” stated Whalee.
The Petition can be a landmark criminal case in the land rights historical past of Liberia and may set the degree for communities to start out difficult the style and shape in which the federal government is granting land to concessionaires with out the consent of the native communities.