River Region’s Niani District chief, Pierre Bah, has sentenced the United
Democratic Party’s (UDP) councilor of Banni Ward in Central River Region-North
to a fine of D15, 000 dalasi in default to serve three months in prison after
he was found guilty of tree cutting.
Sorry Darboe earlier appeared before chief Morrow Jawla of Sami District Tribunal on a charge of unlawful tree cutting in his ward, but the case was transferred to the Niani District Tribunal where he was sentenced last week.
Mr. Darboe told the court that he cuts the trees to construct Kunting-Lamin Koto road, but Chief Pierre Bah told him that unlawful tree cutting was against the laws of The Gambia.
People of Banni ward said they are not happy with Mr. Darboe on the way he was exploiting the forest for the so-called road construction initiative, saying they elected him to work with the Area Council to help them and not to exploit their natural resources.
Chief Bah urged the people of the area to report any act of exploitation in the forest, irrespective of their leadership position. He said there would be no excuse or complacency in the protection of the forest. “If anyone thinks he is empowered by the people, so he can do whatever he likes, I will also use the law to punish them,” he said.
Forestry director of the area Lamin Sanneh declined to speak to our correspondent, saying they had no idea about the matter.
However, the Executive Secretary Jallow says the TRRC is impartial and independent and says it will remain so.
“We also assure the Gambia Press Union and the general public that the TRRC is totally impartial and independent, and will remain totally impartial and independent,” he emphasised.