Australian businessman, Steve Cosser, continues to face more disgrace, as his former business partner Jacob Barnett winds into the debate surrounding a lease agreement in the Tunkia Chiefdom.
The brouhaha that started with a strong condemnation against an alleged fraudulent action of Cosser by the Paramount Chief, Chiefdom Speaker and men of note in the Tunkia Chiefdom, has now graduated to a point where Cosser’s former business partner is strongly denying knowledge about the purported lease agreement signed by Cosser and the Tunkia Chiefdom people.
See sworn affidavit below.
Re: Bagla Hills, Tonkia Chiefdom, Kenema District in the Republic of Sierra Leone
I, Jacob Barnett of No. 17 Combema Road, Kenema, Kenema District in the Eastern Province of the Republic of Sierra Leone, MAKE OATH AND SAY AS FOLLOWS:
1.On 16 June 2008 I was granted a 50 year lease over “all that piece or parcel of land situate and known as Bagla Hill, Tonkia Chiefdom, Kenema District in the Eastern Province of Sierra Leone” by the Chiefdom Council of Tonkia Kingdom.
2. My lease remained in full force and effect until it was surrendered by a deed of surrender dated 24 January 2011, which was agreed and signed by myself and the Chiefdom Council of Tonkia Kingdom.
3. I have recently been shown a document by an acquaintance of mine Mr. Tungie Okoro-Cole which purports to be a lease over 206.75 square kilometers of Bagla Hills in favor of Stephen Cosser dated 20 December 2010. A copy of this document is exhibited to this affidavit marked “JB 1”.
4. I have been informed by Mr. Tungie Okoro-Cole that whilst I was in the UK undergoing medical treatment that Stephen Cosser visited Kenema District met the Paramount Chief and other members of the Chiefdom Council. I did not know that Stephen Cosser was going to make this visit, and if he told the Paramount Chief and Chiefdom Council that he was making the visit at my request or with my agreement, this is not correct. It is correct to say that I was discussing with Stephen Cosser terms for him to take an assignment of my lease, but final terms had not been agreed.
5. I note that in the document exhibited at “JB1” that there is a statement that “the said JACOB BARNETT having failed to pay rent reserved by the aforesaid lease the Lessors have resumed possession of the demised land and the lease has been determined’.
6. I confirm that I have not received any letters from my lessors, the Paramount Chief or Chiefdom Council with reference to any breach of the terms of my lease, or demanding payment of the outstanding rent. I am not aware of any other action, including court action having been taken against me by my lessors which could have resulted in my lease being determined before 20 December 2010, which is the date of Mr. Cosser’s purported lease. In fact, as stated above, my lease remained in force until it was surrendered by a deed of surrender dated 24 January 2011, which was agreed and signed by myself, the Paramount Chief and the Chiefdom Council.
7. In December 2010 my relationship with Stephen Cosser deteriorated and that I decided that I no longer intended to do business with him.
SWORN the 7th day of May 2011
In Freetown, Sierra Leone.