Oct 5, 2009, 7:06 AM
Omar Faye the alkalo (village head) of Busura village is on trial at the Brikama Magistrates’ Court before Magistrate Baboucarr Secka for alleged abuse of office.
Testifying, the first prosecution witness, Lang Jarju, a police officer attached to Sifoe Police Station, told the court that he knew the accused as the alkalo of Burusa village, and could recall what happened between 2004 and 2010.
He said that in 2004, one Ebrima Jatta and Bakary Jatta were arrested and taken to the Brikama Police Station in connection with a land dispute between the people of Marakissa village and Busura village.
Sub-Inspector Jarju further adduced that the accused, Omar Faye, and the ex-councillor of Marakissa Ward, Alieu Jarju, reported the said land dispute case, which led to the arrest of Ebrima Jatta and Bakary Jatta.
“Dembo Jarju, Sanusey Minteh, Abdou Njie and the ex-governor of the West Coast Region, Abdou FM Badjie, withdrew the matter from the police to the community level, and they mediated between the two villages,” he added.
Officer Jarju further adduced that during the mediation, the mediators came with an apology letter to the Jarju Kuda family, and the letter was from the accused person, Omar Faye.
“The disputed land is located in Marakissa village, and is owned by the Jarju Kunda family of Marakissa,” the witness explained.
He revealed that their parents were farming on the disputed land well before Busura was settled, and they have being farming on the said disputed since then.
“When the dispute arose, I personally went to the disputed land and told them that the land belongs to him, as he inherited it from his father,” officer Jarju informed the court.
Jarju adduced that the apology letter from the accused stated that he the (accused) was misled to encourage people to work on the land that does not belong to him.
“The accused asked his people to create a garden on my land, and when the garden was created, it cause a problem between the two villages,” he adduced.
Still testifying, Jarju said when he realised that his land was used for gardening, he visited the land on 13th March 2010 and found that a well was dig and a solar panel was installed.
“I wrote a letter to the accused to stop his people from using the land, but the accused did not respond,” he told the court.
“On 23rd March 2010, I went to the district chief, Dembo Keleng Bojang, and filed a summons against the accused person,” Jarju added.
The accused, the witness added, was called and admitted that he authorised his people to do the gardening on the said land, and the reason he gave was that it was in response to the back-to-the-land called by the President.
Further testifying, PW1 told the court that from there he left for his home, and that the Jarju Kunda family of Marakissa subsequently wrote a petition and copied it to the Inspector General of Police, Ministry of Local Government and Lands, the Ministry of the Interior, ex governor Dembo Jarju, the present chief Dembo Keleng Bojang, the accused person, as the alkalo of Busura village, and the ex councilor of Marakissa ward, Alieu Jarju.
He said he was later called to the CID where he was asked about the petition, and his statement was obtained.
The prosecution applied to tender the letter, but this was objected to by the defence counsel, Buba Jawo, on the grounds that it was a photocopy and not the original.
However, the defence counsel’s objection was overruled, and the letter was admitted. The case was adjourned to 28th December 2010.