Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 December 2019:
Following the publication in the Sierra Leone Telegraph last week, of serious allegations of breach of lease agreement and abuse of power, made by the landlord of a property leased to Sierra Leone’s president Julius Maada Bio and his wife, the saga has taken a new turn for the worse as the landlord continues to fight for justice.
The Law Firm – Ngakui and Partners, which until his recent appointment to join the Bio-led government as Director of Public Prosecutions was headed by the owner of the firm – Lawyer Ngakui, has joined the fray by writing a letter to Mr Quinton Terry, informing him that he has no right to the property, nor is he the landlord, despite the lease agreement and the will of the deceased owner of the property, stating otherwise.
The Power of Attorney granted by an executor of the deceased’s Will, clearly empowers Mr. Quinton Terry to act as landlord. And in so doing, in 2016 president Bio and Mrs. Fatima Bio quite rightly signed the property lease agreement with Mr Quinton Terry.
But a letter written by Ngakui and Partners, published on social media last Friday, which it seems was never delivered to Mr Quinton Terry by Ngakui and Partners, says that the Firm is now acting on behalf of the lady in London (Dianne Terry) to whom president Bio it appears, wrongfully paid the last yearly lease payment and now acting as the landlord, effectively cutting out Mr. Quinton Terry as Landlord.
This is the letter written by Ngakui and Partners to Mr. Quinton Terry last Wednesday, which Mr. Quinton Terry says he has not received, but was instead posted on social media immediately after the story was published by the Sierra Leone Telegraph last Friday. They are now threatening legal action against Mr Quinton Terry on behalf of the president and Mrs Bio:
But today, Monday 16 December 2019, Mr Quinton Terry is standing his ground. He has issued the following press statement, as this saga continues, with all its damaging impact on the presidency, State House and Sierra Leone’s ability to convince the international community and foreign investors that, there is no impunity in the country today, and that the government is taking corruption, abuse of office, and law and order very seriously:
To: Ngakui & Partners, 1st Floor, 5 George Street, Freetown, December 16, 2019
My attention has been drawn to a letter posted on social media, purporting to have been sent to 3A Gabriel Street, Freetown for my attention. Let me state categorically that no such letter was either delivered to the above address nor received by anyone at that address.
Your response to my press release of Friday December 6, 2019 totally ignored the simple claim of “Breach of Contract” perpetrated by the lessees of the said property, which you unwittingly did not address. My claim is that payments under the lease agreement for the year 2017-2018 was paid to Diane Terry by the lessee, as per receipt in my possession.
Now, we know that your firm collected payment for the year 2018-2019. Therefore, based on the lease agreement with the lessees, both your firm and Diane Terry unlawfully collected payment which were supposed to have been paid to Mr. Quinton Terry as Attorney for the Terence Terry Estate at 32a Juba Hill, Freetown.
Let me remind you at this juncture that the issue you raised in your letter of beneficiaries to the estate does not in any way preclude the lessees from their obligation to abide by the lease agreement.
Also, it may interest you to know that the issue of entitlement and beneficiaries to the said property was litigated in the High Court of Sierra Leone in 2010, with presiding Judge Justice Eku Roberts. Judgment in that case was for the estate against Diane Terry; that the property in question should be leased out and proceeds used solely to educate the grandchildren, as per the Will.
It was against this backdrop that the said property was leased in June 2016. At that point, the Executor of the property, due to his absence in Sierra Leone decided to give Power of Attorney to Quinton Terry for the said property. Clearly the date of 16 August 2019 when the so-called Administration of the said property was carried out, post-dated the lease agreement which expired in June 2019.
Therefore, your assertion that my tenure of Power of Attorney for the property of Terence Terry has been revoked is ludicrous, devoid of facts and grossly undermine the Rule of Law in Sierra Leone. I stand by my press release of Friday December 6, 2019 (END OF STATEMENT)
Signed: Quniton Terry, Attorney for Terence Terry Estate