As a concern citizen from Grand Mal in St. George, I have learned recently that a relative of Ian James aka “Gagga” of Grand Mal has made moves in the High Court to get him evicted from Crown Lands in Grand Mal (Case number: GDAHCV2022/0098 filed 08/03/2022).
I have known Ian all my life and it is quite disheartening to see that he is faced with such a predicament as he approaches sixty, later on this year. Ian has lost one of his legs due to a medical condition and is unable to be gainfully employed because he was a construction worker.
Based on my recollection, Ian was born on the said property and has resided there for over 59 years in his deceased grandmother’s “Janet” house, which was upgraded a few years ago. I can also vividly recall that we used to play on Grand Mal beach as children in the 1970’s.
It is alleged that a few years ago, the Ministry offered persons on crown lands in the area the opportunity to purchase the house spot that they were occupying but Ian was not home on the said day and therefore the Ministry did not record his details nor were they made aware that one of the two houses on the property belongs to him.
In fact, Ian was never notified by his relative nor the Ministry of any arrangement and he continued to occupy the same property up to today.
However, over the last few years, Ian caught wind of what transpired and raised an objection with the Ministry of Agriculture. The Ministry investigated the matter and sent Surveyors to resurvey the property and divided it equally between the parties. The action by the Ministry was to right the wrong that was done to Ian.
As a result, it appears that this relative was dissatisfied with the move by the Ministry of Agriculture and filed a matter in the High Court for trespassing against Ian and is seeking the court to evict him (including demolishing his house) from the property (Crown Lands).
This is a grave matter and Ian is facing the possibility of being made destitute after residing in his “Janet” house for over 59 years.
Before Ian’s leg was amputated, he was a very helpful person in the community and would always share whatever little he had. This situation is so heart wrenching that I am calling on the Ministry of Agriculture to provide all the information to resolve this dispute.
As a result of the dispute, the government has put a hold on constructing a bathroom and toilet for him and is waiting for the two parties to resolve their differences. Ian has tried to get his electricity re-connected which was disconnected a few years ago but because of the dispute he has to wait and I could remember that he got his electricity connection sometime in the 1980’s.
I am also calling on Sen. The Hon. Jonathan La Crette of the Constituency of St. George North West to look into this matter. I am calling on the Grenada Council for the Disabled to provide emotional support for Ian because this situation can affect one’s mental health.
I have observed that the RGPF has made numerous visits to the property to attend to the dispute.
On a brighter note, I want to thank the community of Grand Mal for their support to Ian during this challenging time and I am asking for them to continue to pray for him and for this relative to have mercy on a disabled person.