79c Smart Farm

                                                                                                Wilkinson Rd.



                                                                                                 Tel: 030 503 524




The Director-General

Sierra Leone Roads Authority

Kissy Rd.







Despite several previous communications with you, you have continued to cause your workers to commit large scale abuses of human rights on Wilkinson Rd and now additionally on Spur Road.  I refer to Chapter 3 of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, entitled THE RECOGNITION AND PROTECTION OF FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS OF THE INDIVIDUAL. This is the ONLY chapter in the Constitution ENTRENCHED IN ITS ENTIRETY – ie it can only be changed by consent of the people in a referendum. Section 15 states “…EVERY PERSON IN SIERRA LEONE IS ENTITLED TO….PROTECTION FROM DEPRIVATION OF PROPERTY WITHOUT COMPENSATION”




Despite your having been made aware of these fundamental mandates of our constitution (if you were not previously aware of them) you have continued to forcibly seize property from peaceful, lawabiding citizens up and down the length of Wilkinson Rd and now Spur Road. And how have these seizures been accomplished.? Have you used the police to enforce laws in our statute books? Have you used bailiffs to enforce some directive from a court? Have you used surveyors from the Ministry of Lands to properly identify and record land to be compulsorily acquired? Have you employed the provisions of the Public Lands Act, which outlines the procedures to be followed and compensation to be paid in cases of compulsory acquisition? NONE OF THE ABOVE BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO LAW TO BACK YOU! No, your modus operandi is to employ illiterate youths, working under equally illiterate Chinese and direct them to start digging on private property and to molest, harass, insult and assault any one who dares to question them. In this way you have been able to intimidate hundreds of affected property owners into silence. Could it be that this is the direction you have received from the government of the day? Could it be that this is their preferred approach?


Last year, when the first land seizures took place you knew that the preliminary meeting with property owners to discuss the Wilkinson Rd widening project had ended in uproar when SLRA indicated they would not be paying for any land taken. Shortly after that you sent in bulldozers and heavy equipment, backed by gangs of young men, to break down walls and destroy properties. You thus successfully cowed hundreds of property owners into silence. This year this second round of land grabs has continued in like manner


With regard to the Michael Jones property at Aberdeen Rd. junction, for which you have been sent a registered 1958 conveyance and site plan, the Jones family, many of whom have US citizenship, will be making a formal complaint to their government  regarding the illegal seizure of their property. They will also be pursuing their options in the Sierra Leone and US courts. In your lawless land grabs it appears not to matter to you one jot whether or not there exists a valid conveyance for the property – you have thus not deemed my earlier queries worthy of a response. You have meted out the same treatment to  scores of other property owners with valid, registered documents. This appears to be a calculated effort to destroy the system of property ownership in the Western Area.and indeed in the rest of the country.


I am copying this letter to the Special Representative of the Secretary General to the United Nations in Sierra Leone, because your actions are also in violation of Article 17 (2) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the United Nations on 10 December 1948 - “NO ONE SHALL BE ARBITRARILY DEPRIVED OF HIS PROPERTY”


I am copying this letter to the Chinese ambassador to Sierra Leone, because you have caused Chinese nationals to enter upon private property here and commit unlawful acts.


I am copying this letter to the Anti-Corruption Commission because I have heard that compensation on this Wilkinson Rd project  may have been paid in a few cases. If money is available for compensation and you are paying a few and denying others then that is a recipe for corruption.


I am copying leaders of the main opposition parties in Sierra Leone because this policy of land seizure without compensation has been publicly endorsed by your political authority, the Minister of Works and Infrastructure. 


In general I am giving this letter the widest possible publicity because the issue involved – the RIGHT TO HOLD PRIVATE PROPERTY – is of such fundamental importance to the destiny of Sierra Leone.


As you very well know from your experience at SLRA, when there are donor-funded projects of this nature, the donors ensure that any private property taken is fully paid for. How ironic that foreign governments treat SL nationals better than the Sierra Leone government.! How ironic that at the same time as government is calling on foreign investors to invest in Sierra Leone it is busy seizing private property from indigenous Sierra Leoneans .


Yours Sincerely,





Paul Conton


Cc   Mr Donald Jones, for the Michael Jones family

    The SRSGSL

    The Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone

    The Minister of Works and Infrastructure

    The Presidential Adviser on Works and Infrastructure

    The Ombudsman of the Republic of Sierra Leone

    The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone

    The Leader, Sierra Leone Peoples Party

    The Leader, Peoples Movement for Democratic Change

    The Leader, National Democratic Alliance

    The Project Director, China Railway Seventh Group

    Eddie Davis Consultants, ATTN: Mr Hamilton

    The producer,  Good Morning Sa Lone, 98.1 Radio Democracy

    The producer, National News, SLBC

    Awareness Times Newspaper

    Awoko Newspaper

    Standard Times Newspaper

    Premier News Newspaper

    Unity Newspaper

    Salone Times Newspaper