Few years ago, one Stella Scott was alleged to have sold one hundred acres of community land at Gloucester Village in the outskirts of Freetown to NASSIT (National Social Security and Insurance Trust) for billions of Leones.
The sale of the quantum of land from a single individual raised a lot of eyebrows to an extent that the purchaser could not develop the land for the intended purpose because of the chaotic atmosphere created each time the community people and NASSIT met on the site.
In other words, each time NASSIT makes an attempt to gain access to the land for any purpose, in spite of the heavy security of both Military and Police personnel, they were always confronted with stiff resistance from the community people who claimed possession of the said land.
Some members of the community the youth population to be specific, were said to have been detained in Police cell while others are before the court on alleged crimes ranging from riotous conduct to malicious damage and the like.
Sources said the action by Stella Scott to intimidate the community by allegedly using the judiciary was a ploy to force them to eventually give in to whatever proposal that could be advantageous to her.
This was disclosed in a town meeting at the Leicester Community Hall organized by NASSIT and chaired by one of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Nassir Kamanda-Bongay, the Chief Fire Officer.
The meeting according to the chairman was geared towards finding an amicable settlement to the controversial land issue that has engulfed NASSIT and the Gloucester community.
The chairman in his opening remarks said, although the present Board of Trustees was not in office when the said transaction took place between NASSIT and the vendor Stella Scott, however, he assured that NASSIT Management and the Board of Trustees would take responsibility of whatever mistake might have been made in the past in the acquisition of the land.
He informed the community people that NASSIT now needs the said land more than any time before for developmental purpose and assured that the first people to benefit from any project are the community people especially the youth population.
The Councilor representing the Ward, Madam Margaret Kargbo in her contribution said the community people are not averse to development but advised NASSIT to go through the right process and procedure of acquiring the land.
Based upon her investigation and information gathered from senior stakeholders in the community, Stella Scott, the vendor of the controversial land could not boast of more than an acre of land which she inherited from her late father. “How the vendor managed to possess a huge quantum of community land, remains a mystery to me”, she noted.
Councilor Margaret Kargbo alleged that Stella Scott made a Le100, 000,000 (One Hundred Million Leones) offer to her out of the proceeds from what she described as the dubious land sale but turned down the offer.
However, when the councilor later saw the personalities backing Stella to achieve what she referred to as her nefarious ambition, she then realized that the fight was not as easy as she had expected.
The councilor in her conclusion mentioned that, Stella could not have done what she did if she had not gotten the backing of some greedy community elders, state security personnel and some politicians.
It was, however, resolved at the end of the meeting that both Management/Board on the one hand and the community people on the other meet at a later date in order to iron out their differences and find the way forward to the impasse so that development could be prioritized.
Stella Scott was unavailable for comments as we went to press last night.