The Principal State Counsel Lahai Momoh Farmah has been quoted to have remarked that State Land, which was originally crown land, is land whose ownership is determined to be the states’ which is almost always represented by the Government.
The report of the Parliamentary Select Committee that investigated allegations made by the Lands Minister against two MPs that they were involved in the illegal sale of State Lands quoted the Principal State Counsel who explained that in the period between the two world wars, there was need within the colonies for the British to acquire more land, which involved passing series of legislations. Mr. Farmah also said in the report that the Defense Acquisition Act of Sierra Leone was used to acquire land for defense purposes. “When Sierra Leone became independent, the lands that were acquired during the colonial regime through the Defense Acquisition Act and other acquired lands were transferred directly to the newly independent state through the Transfer of Defense Lands Act No.8 of 1961” the report stated. The Principal State Counsel further said that compulsory acquisition, such as what was used by the British under the Defense Acquisition Act, did not stop after independence as the independent government had also used legislation and constitutional provisions to acquire land for government. Regarding unoccupied lands, Mr. Farmah was quoted to have said that there were areas in the Western Area that are not being occupied by private individuals and does not belong to anyone “When this happens, the land is normally regarded as unoccupied land. Certain procedures must be followed to claim such unoccupied lands as is required in the Unoccupied Lands Act” It was also disclosed in the report that titles to land are not registered, instead land transactions are registered as the title depends on the argument one has and “If you had acquired the land, how long the previous owner’s title was on that land. Human beings and documents are therefore necessary to determine in court if you are better entitled than another to any particular land”