In Waa Juwara & Co trial, former lands officer clarifies invoices

Thursday, October 08, 2015
The former principal Lands and Valuation Officer, Hamidou Jallow, yesterday clarified some invoices in court during re-examination by his counsel in the trial involving him and others, before principal Magistrate M.S. Jallow of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court.

The other accused persons are Lamin Waa Juwara, former Minister of Regional Administrations, Lands and Traditional Rulers, and Tamsir Onasis Conteh, a local businessman.

The development followed earlier cross-examination by the state on those invoices, and defence counsel, Abdoulie Sissoho, used the same invoices to clear the doubt on the invoices and receipts.

Testifying under re-examination, Jallow told the court that the invoices were prepared by him in relation to the land premium payment of Basirou Sambou in 2006.

An invoice for Tamsir Onasis Conteh was also in relation to the payment of land premium, amounting to D30,000 and dated 2013.

There was another receipt paid by Tamsir Onasis Conteh in relation to the payment of survey fees amounting to D12,500 in 2005, he further told the court.

Jallow said plots C8 and C9 were allocated to the first accused person before the issuance of the notification, and that officials of the department of Lands and Surveys met in relation to the same issue.

One of the conditions was to pay the survey fee and land premium within a period of 16 days, failing which there would be automatic withdrawal of their plots of land, he said.

He added that in the case of Basirou Sambou, since 2006-2012, he had not paid anything and had never developed the said land.

However, the first accused person had paid the survey fee and the land premium, which had been paid into state coffers.

According to Jallow, the first accused person had developed the piece of land by building a “very solid fence”, adding that several meetings had been held relating to the two plots of land, which was why the two plots were returned to the first accused person, because he had made some development on the said plots of land.

Mr Jallow further told the court that the department of Physical Planning “felt satisfied, and that it was genuine to compensate” the first accused person with the two plots of land.

The case was then adjourned until 13 October 2015.

Count one of the charge sheet indicated that Tamsir Onasis Conteh and Hamidou Jallow in Novemeber 2011, at Banjul, within the jurisdiction of the court, conspired to use forged documents to claim compensation in respect of Tanji Residential Layout.

Count two stated that Tamsir Onasis Conteh, in November 2011, in Banjul, within the jurisdiction of the court, made a document purportedly to be land title documents issued by the Alkalo of Tanji village in order to claim compensation in respect of plots acquired for Tanji Residential Layout.

Count three read that Tamsir Onasis Konteh, in November 2011, in Banjul, within the jurisdiction of the court, knowingly and fraudulently uttered false documents in order to claim compensation in respect of the plots acquired for Tanji Residential Layout.

Count four stated that Tamsir Onasis Conteh, in November 2011, in Banjul, within the jurisdiction of the court, with intent to defraud, obtained D300,000, from Edward T. Sambou as consideration of plot of land at Tanji Residential Layout with the knowledge that the said plots were allocated to him under questionable circumstances.

Count five disclosed that Hamidou Jallow, in November 2011, in Banjul, within the jurisdiction of the court, being employed in the public service and in his capacity as Principal Land and Evaluation Officer, caused plots of land (Nos.C8 and C9) to be allocated as compensation to Tamsir Onasis Konteh, with the knowledge that the said plots were already allocated to Kanilai Family Farms and Mr Basirou Sambou, respectively and with the knowledge that the said Tamsir Onasis Conteh, was not qualified for any.

Count six stated that Hamidou Jallow, in November 2011, in Banjul, within the jurisdiction of the court, being employed in the public service and in his capacity as Principal Land and Evaluation Officer, caused plots of land (Nos C8 and (9) to be allocated as compensation to Tamsir Onasis Conteh as against the laid down procedure for the award of compensation.

Count seven stated that Hamidou Jallow, in November 2011, in Banjul, within the jurisdiction of the court, being employed in the public service and his capacity as Principal Land and Evaluation Officer and in disobedience of the order of the director of lands, caused compensation to be paid to Tamsir Onasis Conteh.

Count eight stated that Lamin Waa Juwara, in November 2011, in Banjul, within the jurisdiction of the court, being an employee in the public service and in his capacity as Minister of Regional Administration, Lands and Traditional Rulers, by willful negligent act, caused plots of land (Nos C8 and ( C9) to be allocated as compensation to Tamsir Onasis, with the knowledge that the said plots were already allocated to Kanilai Family Farm and Mr Basirou Sambou, respectively and with the knowledge that the said Tamsir Onasis Conteh was not qualified for any.

Author: Bakary Samateh
Source: Picture: Lamin Waa Juwara, former Lands Minister