Liberia: Ganta Land Dispute Far From Over?

The disputed land

— Paye Suah Family petitions Legislature’s Intervention

The land dispute between Paye Suah’s family and the Donso, Kromah, and Jabateh families appears to be far from over, despite President Weah’s intervention last year to find another solution after the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Suahs.

On August 13, the Paye Suah family, headed by Fred Suah petitioned the 54th Legislative Caucus to intervene and ensure that the ruling from the Supreme Court is respected.

In the petition, the Suah family said, “we the family; children, and grandchildren of the late Paye Suah of the City of Gompa, are requesting the legislature to join us in our advocacy to request justice from President Weah, whose Land Dispute Committee is yet to resolve our land dispute and return our land to us, as the Supreme Court instructed.”

According to the family, since Weah set up the Land Dispute Committee on May 6, 2021, the Committee is more interested in preaching sentiments and showing tribal solidarity with the opposing parties.

In the petition, the family also said the committee members have delayed the investigation for over a year, by apparently not informing their convener about their outcome. Instead, the committee appears to be finding means to take their properties by force.

The committee, which was set-up to look into the conflict and find a solution has for a year now left both the claimant and respondents, as well as the ordinary citizens, in dilemma, even though the Supreme Court ruling gave the claimant the legal right to the land.

The committee also has made several visits to Ganta, where a new survey was even conducted on the disputed land in question. The committee also spoke with the disputing parties, but their findings remain in limbo.

During the wake of Weah’s visit to Nimba in July, some members of the committee, including Senator Jeremiah K. Koung of Nimba County; the Chairman of Liberia Land Authority, Atty J. Adam Mulbah, and the Assistant Internal Affairs Minister, paid a visit to Ganta and assured the disputing parties that, on July 16, a lasting solution was going to be found.

Meanwhile, Suah, an administrator of the Paye Suah Estate has said that as far as he is concerned, his family won the case and the court has evicted the occupants from the land. 

Therefore, he is going to begin his construction on the land without any delay.

“Since the President instituted this committee to come up with another solution, despite the eviction of those I won the land case against by the instruction of the

Supreme Court over one year ago, the committee is yet to make any report to the President, leaving us in Limbo,” he said.

He said the committee is trying to overturn the Supreme Court ruling by telling him to relinquish the land to those he won in the court for the sake of peace, something he objected to, arguing that if that were the case, there won’t be peace.

And as thing stands, tension continues to brew over the land daily with both sides making threatening remarks on the streets or on the local radio stations. How it will be fully resolved is yet to be established.