January 9, 2019
Minister of Lands, Housing and Country Planning, Dr. Denise Sandy, has dismissed ‘fake media publications’ that he had been sacked following recent investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for alleged abuse of office.
Also, Commissioner of the ACC, Francis Ben Kaifala, has clarified to Concord Times that reports making the rounds that the commission has prevented the Minister of Lands, Housing and Country Planning from performing his duties until the final outcome of the on-going investigation were not true.
In an exclusive interview with Concord Times, Dr. Sandy said, “my conscience is clear and I cannot be distracted by those who are bent on undermining our President’s New Direction administration.”
He described those media publications as fake and misleading, noting that the content therein undermines ethical journalism and the Independent Media Code of Practice.
According to him, the ACC has a sacred constitutional mandate which the commission is unbiasedly performing; adding that a complaint was brought against him by the former Presidential candidate of the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) Party, lawyer Charles Francis Margai. He admitted that he was invited by the ACC to answer to certain queries, but noted that he would not comment on the status to prejudice the outcome.
Explaining what transpired between his Ministry and lawyer Margai, Minister Sandy said he was contacted by lawyer Margai to provide him with a Surveyor to survey a land that was recently returned to him by the former First Lady, Sia Nyama Koroma.
“We discussed the request made by Lawyer Margai and the ministry assigned to him one of our Senior Surveyors, Kamara Keh, who went to resurvey the land situated off cape road, Aberdeen, Back of Bintumani hotel, west end of Freetown,” Minister Sandy said. He went further to state that, “when our Senior Surveyor did the survey with his Global Positioning System (GPS), he noticed a complete discrepancy from the information on the site plan and the one he had obtained.”
The first site plan document that is in our possession tiled, property of Mr. Charles F. Margai and Mrs. Vivat E.H.Margai indicates that the acreage of the land is 0.5920, with 5831 Letter of Administration number. The second unsigned site plan titled property of Ahmad Chbib Dakik showed acreage of 0.6542. The third one has 0.5818 whilst the fourth site plan with edged red has 1.7965 acres of land with consistent discrepancies on all the documents.
Due to the constant discrepancies, the Lands Minister said he told Lawyer Margai to apply for the remaining portion of the land that was not indicated in the original document that was signed and certified on 26th March, 2010.
He said the decision for Margai to apply for the said land was taken by the ministry and that he was not in any way ready to compromise by secretly handing it over to him. “This decision did not augur well with Mr. Margai and furiously denied to make a formal application for the remaining land,” he affirmed, stressing, “I was surprised to read a letter of complaint directed to the ACC accusing me of selling his land.”
He called on journalists to visit his ministry or follow him during their site visit to be able to report fact and accurate information to the public.