In an interview with the Daily Observer recently, Chief Teah of the Sakapo Clan in Electoral District #4, Grand Bassa County, said he feels threatened by the head of the “Zoe Bush”, identified as Philip Paye, who he said has vowed to forcibly initiate him into the “Zoe Bush” if he dares claim that the 72.5 acres of land over which he rules as chief belongs to his family.
He also claimed that three other persons, who he identified as Boye Tarr, Matthew Tarr, and Opa Sayoo, have been harassing him and inciting other people against him.
As a result of the threat, Chief Teah has not been able to proceed to his chiefdom, and has been staying in Buchanan and Monrovia respectively for the last six months. He, therefore, wants the government’s involvement so that he can work for his people and keep their inheritance.
His claim was supported by the advocacy group Human Rights and Protection Forum on Lynch Street, Monrovia. On August 10, 2018, the group carried out an investigation and released a report, a copy of which was sent to Grand Bassa County Superintendent Janjay Baikpeh.
In the report, the entity said that during its investigation, it noted that the three men had been harassing Chief Teah and inciting their followers against him. They had also been destroying the coconut plantation, including trees, cutting the coconut trees for cabbage.
The report said the land dispute has been going on for a long time and recently, while the case was in circuit court in Buchanan, the court had both Tarr and Sayoo in detention. However, they were released.
Upon their release, they joined Philip Paye and have since continued their harassment. Chief Teah said he is afraid for his life and has appealed to the government to intervene.
The human rights group requested the superintendent’s intervention into the said land dispute, in order to bring “this ugly situation completely under control so that the Teah family can take ownership of their respective property and that peace be restored, because there are legal documents that show who really owns the land in District #4.”
Chief Teah said the family’s estate includes 72.5 acres of land, which has reportedly been encroached upon, and that the case has been going on for many years, but now his family needs peace.
Teah showed a certified copy of the deed, known as ABORIGINES GRANT, for the disputed land from the Republic of Liberia to Teah Jappah as recorded in volume 21, pages 290-291 of the records of Grand Bassa County, filed in the archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Madam Annie B. Teah Jappah, daughter of Teah Jappah (deceased) and property owner in Little Collah Point, Grand Bassa County, showed a letter of administration that was acquired on December 12, 2018, from the county’s 2nd Judicial Circuit Court, under Cllr. Sikajipo A. Wollor, assigned judge.
Madam Jappah also appealed for government’s intervention in order to save her family’s inheritance.