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‘Defying Court Order…’

Lawyer Charles Margai writes President Koroma’s brother

February 6, 2018 By Mohamed Massaquoi

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Photo of bulldozers at the site

Legal luminary-cum-politician, Lawyer Charles Francis Margai, has written a strongly-worded letter to Thomas Koroma, younger brother of President Ernest Bai Koroma, for what he referred to as ’blatant disrespect’ for a High Court ruling in an ongoing matter between Horse Fishing Company Limited and SABCO Fishing Company.

Lawyer Margai claims in the said letter that Thomas Koroma is the Managing Director of SABCO Fishing Company.

In the letter dated 30th January 2018, Lawyer Margai said his firm had been reliably informed that despite a ruling and proceeding in the Court of Appeal, Mr. Thomas Koroma took bailiffs into his client’s leased land and threw out their belongings, taking control of two of their stores in the process, adding that the stores formed part of the company’s leased area.

Mr. Margai said following the ruling of Hon. Justice J.B. Alieu on an application for stay of execution of the judgment of the High Court dated 18th January 2018, it was explicit that both Horse Fishing Company Limited and SABCO Fishing company stay within their identified locations pending the determination of the Appeal, and that no government officials or agents were to interfere with the proprietary rights of their clients on their leased land, a ruling which he claimed was completely flouted by Koroma and his company.

“Our clients report that they saw you, Mr. Thomas Koroma, a couple of days ago in the midst of some Chinese businessmen on their leased land and that followed up your visit on the land by causing bulldozers and excavators to be deployed on their leased land  on the 29th January , 2018. The said machines immediately went into action clearing the land without any regard for the due processes of the Courts of Sierra Leone including current proceedings in the Court of Appeal,” he said, adding that it is significant that state authorities respect the laws of the land.

It could be recalled that the government of Sierra Leone leased a huge quantum of land to the Horse Fishing Company at Jui, Hastings, over ten years ago in order to carry out their activities, but only recently, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice took legal action against Horse Fishing Company over the said plots of land.

However, Hon. Justice J. B. Alieu, on 18th January 2018, ruled that the parties – Horse Fishing Company and SABCO Fishing Company – be strictly confined to their respective boundaries as and now existing, pending the hearing and determination of the appeal by Horse Fishing Company.