Leon “Bigger Bigs” Samuel has secured another victory against the government in the case he brought against the state relating to a survey of lands at Rabacca.
The case surrounds lands on which Samuel operated his mining operation in the North Windward district until the government revoked his licence a decade ago, forcing him to close his block-making business.
Bigger Cement and Aggregate Inc., of which Samuel is the manager, instituted legal action against the state in 2019, challenging a survey process and a survey plan carried out on those lands.
The government was purporting to survey almost nine acres of land, which the State was alleging are owned by the Crown and which Samuel said was his property, before, during and after the survey.
He is arguing in court that the state’s actions were illegal and unconstitutional.
In June 2019, High Court Judge, Justice Esco Henry dismissed an application by the government to strike out Samuel’s claim.
Samuel’s legal team, which is headed by Queen’s Counsel Stanley “Stalky” John and includes lawyers Jomo Thomas and Akin John, resisted the application and the court ruled in their favour, dismissing the application as being without merit.
However, the Attorney General’s Chambers sought the permission of the court to appeal Henry’s decision to dismiss the application.
But Samuel’s legal team argued against the appeal, saying it has no prospect of success were it to be heard, and in December 2020, Henry again ruled in Samuel’s favour.
In a press conference last week, Thomas and John updated the media on the latest development.
“And what is very critical is that the court expressly stated in its decision that the basis for those orders were that there is no merit to the proposed ground of appeal and the AG had no realistic chance of success — totally and absolutely vindicating the position that Bigger had taken in opposing the application,” John told the media.
John said this means that Samuel’s substantive claim remains to be heard and his legal team intends “to pursue the progress of this matter so that this substantive claim can be heard within the shortest possible period of time.”
He, however, said it is important to note that the government filed a defence in the substantive matter notwithstanding its attempt to appeal the decision to dismiss the motion to throw out the case.
“What, therefore, you may say, is the merit in pursuing an appeal? From our point of view, it is purely an effort to frustrate Bigger’s efforts and deny him the constitutional right to the enjoyment of his property, amongst other things,” John said.
Speaking at the press conference, Samuel expressed confidence in his legal team.
“From the time we went into court in 2019 with this matter and I see the way I see the case has been handled by the team, it makes me a lot more relaxed and I am now in a position where I can focus more on how to survive economically in term of getting things done that I would have liked to get done before,” Samuel said.