The President of the Association of Professional Surveyors of Liberia (APLSUL) yesterday claimed that the courts are also responsible for the illegal sale of land in the country. Josephus Burgess’ statement comes against allegations that surveyors are the main culprits in the illegal sale of land in Liberia.
Speaking at the opening of a three-day symposium on the Land Tenure System of Liberia, Burgess said, “There is an allegation that surveyors are the principal cause of all land conflict in the country,” a statement he argued “is far from the reality.”
The symposium was organized by the USAID-Land Governance Support Activity (LGSA).
“Which category will you then place the so-called emerging owners with fabricated certified copy deeds to which originals you cannot find, and therefore are hardly substantiated?” Burgess asked his audience yesterday.
He also argued that the courts continue to issue multiple Letters of Administration, even without verifying the existence, condition or status of the property, “Let alone observing the lifespan of such letters.”
He said, “all Liberians need is to work together for a successful land administration system that will respond positively to the security of tenure of the land tenure system of our country,” adding that the symposium purposed to critically and technically discuss problems affecting the land tenure system in the country.
In his remarks, Dr. Cecil Brandy, chairman of the Liberia Land Authority (LAA), however, put the illegal sale of land on surveyors.
“By ethics, it is the responsibility of the surveyors to provide proper information to the seller and buyer of a piece of land.
“You have to do due diligence whenever you are called to survey land; you own the work and you have the deed so you have to facilitate its sale,” the LLA chair noted.
“You have to say whether or not the land has been sold or it is restricted from being sold, or had been criminally conveyed, because you are the first line in the sale of land in this country.
“You are to protect the rule of law and make sure that every transaction is backed by the required law, so as to avoid potential land conflict in the country.”