Agriculture Minister embroiled in land controversy as judge summons surveyor to civil court – FrontPageAfrica
Monrovia– The Sixth Judicial Circuit, Justice Kennedy J. Peabody’s Temple Civil Law “A” Court, summoned Surveyor Thomas W. Nimely of the Liberia Lands Authority in the ejection action case implicating Rodney D. Sieh as plaintiff against Elise Cooper, accused Jeanie Cooper and Alex Garley, to answer for contempt of court.
Clr. Jonathan Massaquoi, for the plaintiff, told the court that the court had previously qualified the government surveyor (Nimely), but the chairman of the Liberia Lands Authority needed the full cost of the survey bill, which should have been 457.50 USD per each party. However, Clr. Massaquoi noticed that Cllr. Joyce Reeves Woods, a client of the defendant, failed to pay her share of US$457.50 to complete the investigation.
Clr. Massaquoi further stated that he advised his client to pay the grand total of US$915.00, representing investigation costs for both parties to expedite the process and complete the investigation.
The land in question, located in Paynesville, ELWA around the old police station, was part of several acres of land subject to a major Supreme Court ruling in 2013.
The saga was sparked by a land crisis between the Cooper family and the residents of the ELWA community.
The saga reached a boiling point, with many fearing at the time that if not handled carefully, it could have escalated into a crisis. The Cooper land saga is just one fragment of the land disputes between the country’s citizens since the end of the war in 2003.
Based on the complaint filed against Cllr. The Woods defendants – Agriculture Minister Jeanine Cooper and others, Judge Peabody, commissioned the clerk of the court indicating the Liberia Lands Authority to make the name and served as chairman of the inquest. investigation.
The judge said, “This court says, if its invoice detachable action for its contribution to the defendants, be the invoice of course, if the defendants invoice above to pay on behalf of the defendants, by the invoice prompt service comments well sure”.
The judge then ordered the clerk of the court to enter contempt against Surveyor Thomas W. Nimely to appear on Tuesday, March 1, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. after being qualified to justify why he should not be held for contempt, after being qualified and trained.
The case got further complicated and a decision by defendants’ attorney Cllr. Woods to back out of the deal at the last minute and in the wake of the impending ownership investigation.
Last week, Cllr. Woods sent a communication to the clerk of the Sixth Judicial Circuit, Civil Law Court “A”, indicating a notice to withdraw from the case.
The communication reads: “That upon receipt of our notice of withdrawal, please distribute the court minutes that Cllr. Joyce Reeves Woods and Woods and Associates Law Film no longer represent the legal interests of Mr. Elise Cooper as their cases were returned to them and they were asked to find a lawyer to represent their legal interests.
More disturbingly, the defendants have in recent weeks constructed a three-store building and fenced off the property which was leased to an Indian businessman while the ownership is disputed in court.
It may be recalled that in 2013, normal activities in the ELWA Robertsfield Freeway Community on Tuesday came to a halt following a protest action organized by some residents of the community.