This Ordinance makes provision with respect to the compulsory acquisition of lands for public purposes and compensation for such acquisition to the landowner. It sets out the procedure for such acquisition and subsequent registration of land. The Governor may be required to purchase the rest of a piece of land if only a part was acquired and the rest is rendered useless to the owner. It shall be lawful for the Minister to resell any land purchased under this rule. The Ordinance also makes provision for resolution of disputed regarding compensation, etc. Compensation shall not be awarded to any party in respect of unoccupied land. Any land shall be deemed to be unoccupied where it is proved that beneficial use thereof for cultivation or inhabitation, or for collecting or storing water, or for any industrial purposes, has not been made for twelve years next prior the date of expropriation.
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The British set up a trading post near present-day Freetown in the 17th century. Originally the trade involved timber and ivory, but later it expanded into slaves. Following the American Revolution, a colony was established in 1787 and Sierra Leone became a destination for resettling black loyalists who had originally been resettled in Nova Scotia. After the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, British crews delivered thousands of Africans liberated from illegal slave ships to Sierra Leone, particularly Freetown.