Liberia: Land Authority Nimba Office Linked to Extortion

LAA agent Dayan Vartiket

Agent Vartiket allegedly took US$1,600 for processing fees

The Liberia Land Authority office in Nimba has been implicated in alleged extortion following claims that they accepted a sum of US$1,600 in processing fees from a landowner in Ganta without delivering the promised land deed for almost two years. The individual affected by this situation, Mr. Jonathan Harris, shared with the Daily Observer that an officer named Dayan Vartiket in Sanniquellie took US$1,600 to process a land deed for the Boayou Family over a year and a half ago, but the deed has not materialized.

The delay in processing the document has reportedly caused a strain on Harris’s relationship with the Boayou family, as they suspect he mishandled the funds.

Harris detailed that the LLA, through its representative Dayan Vartiket, had initially charged him US$1,800 to process and probate the deed before returning it. However, the agency has not fulfilled its commitment, leading to frustration and mistrust.

Because of the unresolved situation, Mr. Harris mentioned a loss of communication with Julie K. Boayou based in the United States, and recounted a distressing incident where he lost money in an accident while pursuing the land deed.

“Because of the money, I have lost my contact with Julie K. Boayou, who is based in the United States of America, thinking that I had eaten their money,” he said.

“While pursuing the LAA to get the document, me and one Onikeh had a terrible accident on Sanniquellie Road, losing my bag, containing US$1000 and L$80,000,” Jonathan said in tears.

“Dayan Vartiket is no longer picking up my phone, keeping me in limbo. I cannot get the deed nor the money,” he explained.

According to him, the land in question is situated in the Glenyeelu Community in Ganta City, adding, “We survey the one acre and were only left with the processing and do the probating. 

Dayan Vartiket, the accused individual, acknowledged receiving the funds from Mr. Harris for land processing and vowed to provide the deed within a week back in mid-January 2024, but as of now, the deed remains outstanding. The exact cost of processing land through the LAA remains unclear, but Mr. Harris noted being charged $450 for a single lot and a total of $1,800 for the one-acre parcel comprising four lots. 

“Jonathan and one Onikeh brought the amount of US$1600 to process one acre of land. I had done nearly all the work,” he said. 

It is not clear how much it cost for a lot of land to be processed by the LAA, but Jonathan said he was charged to pay US$450 for one lot, which brought the total to US$1800 for the one acre, which contained four lots.