ELWA Cooper Beach Land Dispute Intensifies

By Edwin G. Wandah

More than 300 residents in the ELWA District #6 Community were yesterday allegedly put out of their homes by the Cooper family who has claimed more than 120 acres of land which begins from the ELWA Police Station and beyond.

According to some of the residents, they were not notified by anyone, but only saw their homes being broken down by men believed to be acting on the orders of one Cooper Family.

A resident, Papa said to the press, “My parents settled in this place for more than three decades. I was born here and saw my father owing a block factory in this community”.

As Papa continued, ‘I inherited the land from my father with a legitimate deed and document to verify any problems that may occur in the future, and it is surprising for me to see someone coming to claim our land,’ he said sadly. “I owned a business on this land which I have invested in for more than ten years and to see someone coming to break it down in just a few minutes is a pitiful thing”.

According to Papa, yesterday makes it the second times that the Cooper Family have come to break down their homes with no reason. He said the first time they came was in 2012 and they made away with several valuables including unspecified amount of dollars both United States Dollars and Liberian Dollars.

Papa said he has informed his lawyer about the behavior of the Coopers which he said the Liberian National Police have provided them security without noticing what they are doing. He said his case is one of the many cases yet to be addressed by the court, but said, the Coopers have hired a Nigerian National (name withheld) who told them that he and his partners have paid more than US. 500.000 to the Supreme Court of Liberia to see that the residents do not have any redress.

Another Musu Scott said, she has documents that the issue at present has some big hands behind it, and that any attempt by the residents to put up resistance, the Liberia National Police should use excessive force to protect the interest of the Coopers because they have been paid  to execute the orders of their bosses.

But few minutes to the rioting by the residents mainly youths, the Deputy Police Director for Operation Abraham Kroma arrived at the scene and spoke with some youths and elders of the Yonjay Town Community in the ELWA. Speaking to Dr. Rufus King, owner of the Sunrise Clinic which is the only medical clinic in the area, Director Kroma asked Dr. King the root cause of the situation which he said has led to police officers being threatened by the rioters with some of the police being stoned.

Dr. Rufus King referred Director Kroma to the Chairman of the Yonjay Town Community, Elder John Giean before the fracas intensifies.

But according to a representative of the Coopers, the Coopers were sued by the Dassen on grounds that the 120 acres of the disputed land was not for the Coopers and the Dassen has been selling the land for more than US$15.000.00 and US$20.000.00 amounts which has been expensive for some of the less fortunate in the area.

According to the representative of the Coopers, after returning from the court, they (the Coopers) have been offering at least US$ 10.000 for land something which he said is better and affordable.

But according to the court document in possession of the INQUIRER, the Intestate of the late Karmon Dassen, by and thru its Administrators Janneh Dassen and Andrew Gray of the City of Paynesville Montserrado County Republic of Liberia, verses Bawo, Monie Captan, Joe Kojo and Solomon Vambe, all of the City of Paynesville, Montserrado County.

In the Court Document issued 2012 before his honor George Yussif D. Kaba a writ of Possession to Maj. Clara N. Kpaingbai, the court commanded to put the Appellees/Plaintiffs in the above captioned cause of action in complete and unrestricted possession of the property commencing at a point made by a soap tree and running north 65 degree East 60 chains, hence running south 25 degree East 20. Investigation continues as several arrests are being made by fully armed riot police.