The Accompong Maroons have filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court against the Government of Jamaica and the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), Chief Richard Currie disclosed on Sunday.
The Accompong Maroons and the Jamaican Government have been at odds over recent months, stemming mainly from disputes over the boundaries of the Cockpit Country, the Accompong Maroons’ ancestral lands, and the question of maroon sovereignty with the Jamaican state, something which was raised by Currie last year.
After a number of hair-raising incidents, including sharp and direct verbal barbs between Currie and Prime Minister Andrew Holness, the matter seemingly died down, with Currie being less vocal on the matter for some time now
But that was apparent only up to recently, based on a statement from Currie on Sunday.
“In this era of time, under the leadership of the newly democratic leader — myself — the maroons seek to defend the land again. We have filed a lawsuit against the Government of Jamaica and the Jamaica National Heritage Trust,” Currie declared in a video that was posted on his official Instagram account.
According to Currie, the lawsuit was filed on May 6, 2022, and outlines redress for a declaration of title under the Registration of Titles Act, without prejudice, to maroon sovereignty.
The suit also outlines a claim of violations of what is described as constitutionally protected rights to private property, the observations of political doctrines, and trespass on the maroon estate, which Currie alleges has been unlawfully permitted by the Government of Jamaica to be mined.
He asserts that the lawsuit will show that the treaty of 1738 between the maroons and the then British colonial authorities, which gave the maroons sovereignty over their lands, remains in effect with the Jamaican Constitution of 1962.
“We’ve gotten to this point because we realise that the doors keep closing, there are things happening here on the ground in Accompong that you might not know. There have been threats made at my life. There have been attempts made to subvert the council. There have been many things happening behind closed doors that you may not be privileged of,” Currie claimed.
“What I fear is that things are taking a direction quite opposite in the direction of progress and it is, therefore, the intention of the people to make their intentions known to the wider society, to the Government of Jamaica, and to the world,” said Currie.
He stated that the Accompong Maroons have assembled a legal team, which includes Isat Buchanan, Charles Ganga-Singh and Alessandra Labeach, along with consultations from Bert Samuels and international attorneys, as well as the Maroon Ambassador Plenipotentiary, Anu Tafari Zion El.
The first hearing date in court is set for July 12, 2022, Currie said on Sunday.