There was no due process when the land was acquired - says DG, Gambia Tourism Board

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Abdoulie Hydra, director general (DG) of The Gambia Tourism Board, yesterday revealed to the Janneh Commission that there was no due process when the former president acquired a land at Bijilo.

Investigators also close to the Janneh Commission continued to present more properties acquired by the former President Yahya Jammeh within the districts of Kombo South and Kombo North.

The total properties acquired by the former president in the District of Kombo South was 18 while that of Kombo North was more than 17 properties, according to the presentation done by officials from the Department of Lands and Physical Planning during a power point presentation before the commission.

ASP Delo Baldeh, in his evidence, told the inquiry that the former president acquires a property at Jambur village which was allocated to him by Wandy Bojang and the community leaders of the village.

On the properties located within the Kombo North, the director general of Gambia Tourism Board, at that point, intimated to the commissioners that plots number 4 to 14 were under the Tourism Development Areas.

The property located at Brufut Ghana town along the main highway, according to ASP Delo Baldeh, is in the name of Aja Asombi Bojang, the mother of the former president, which was acquired by him and it measures 1,126.50 square metres. ASP Baldeh, however, said they have not got the title deed except the sketch plan of the area.

Next property, he said, is located at Brufut, Madina, which was also acquired by the former president after he requested for it from the community leaders.

For the property located at Brufut Sanimentering near the Sheraton Hotel measuring 11.84 hectares, ASP Baldeh said the land was also acquired by the former president in 2005 as well as plot number 75 located at Brufut height layout but according to the director general of GT Board, the said land belongs to private individuals.

Brufut football field, according to the police ASP, was also acquired by the former president but it is part of tourism development areas and it measures 12.05 hectares, and it is not developed.

Brufut former CSC campus and Brufut fish landing site was also acquired by the former president but according to Delo Baldeh, the CSC campus was initially acquired by Ismaila Kabba Sambou who allocated the land to the former president as a replacement, while the fish landing site was leased to him.

Further exposing the former president’s properties, he said that there was another property at Bijilo and was leased to the former president in 2010, measuring 3.75 metres but there was no data allocation. He added that it was sold to the tune of D3,000,000.

On the Brusubi property by the roundabout, he said it was assigned to the late Baba Jobe but it now belongs to Awa B. Kaira and it was sold to Banta Kaira to the tune of D1, 000,000 but it was later bought by the former president.

On the Yundum/Banjulinding Garden, it was leased to David Kwasie Jawara but it was assigned by Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara to KFF. Still on the former president’s properties, ASP Baldeh disclosed that the former president has a property at the Banjul International Airport measuring 69.90 hectares but no record has been seen indicating that it was owned by the former president.

ASP Baldeh told the commission that the former president has another property situated at Kerr Sering which was formally owned by Baba Jobe and is occupied by one Modou Camara, adding that this property was taken from Baba Jobe by the former president and no documents were found.

At Yarambamba Housing Estate, Baldeh revealed that the former president owned five plots of land which were assigned to KFF by TAF Holding; adding that the chief executive officer of TAF Holding, Mustapha Njie, confirmed to the investigators that the former president sent soldiers for these properties and each was bought to the tune of D200,000.

On the Sukuta property, he stated that it was leased to Lawyer Edward Gomez who assigned it to the former president, noting that they have the lease of the property. He added that the former president also has a property at Kerr Sering which was occupied by Amadou Sanyang who is related to the former president’s mother.

Mr. Baldeh finally told the commission that the former president also has another property at Bijilo which was formerly occupied by the green boys, measuring 17.70 hectares; adding that they have a title deed of the property and it was for Home of Medical Mission.     

Hearing continues today.

Author: Dawda Faye