Oct 21, 2009, 5:31 AM
Alhagie Omar A.B. Faye, the Alkalo of Busura village, who is standing trial for abuse of office, on Thursday opened his defence at the Brikama Magistrates' Court before Magistrate Babucarr Secka.
In his defence, the accused person told the court that he has been alkalo of Busura from 2002 to 2011.
He said he was charged with abuse office, and added that he did not use his office in any capacity to abuse it.
"I wrote an apology letter to the people of Jatta Kunda family of Marakisa village, because of the land dispute problem between the two villages, according to the investigation by the Brikama Police Station," the Busura alkalo added.
"I wrote the letter to only Jatta Kunda Family and not the Jarju Kunda family, and the parties to the said land were one Bakary Jatta and his elder brother," he added.
According to him, the land was not the same as the land at issue before the court, adding that he was surprised when he was brought before the court.
"The land at issue before the court is situated at Busura village, and the said land was inherited by my grandfather, Nyanbi Saho, who was a scholar of my father, Alieu Bara Faye, the current marabout in Busura village," he told the court in his defence.
He said he knew the Jarju Kunda family of Marakisa village, but never had any land dispute with them.
He never knew that the Jarju Kunda family were claiming the land at issue before the court, and only came to know that when he was brought before the court, the accused continued.
He said he was the head of his village before he was brought to court, and was arrested by the police in the presence of his family and the villagers, and taken to the Brikama police station because of the land problem.
He said on arrival at the police station, he was immediately cautioned and charged and brought to court, adding that he gave his statement at the police station.
Under cross-examination by the police persecutor, 358 Cpl Sarr, the accused said Alhagie Dembo Jarju came to mediate between him and the people of Jatta Kunda family of Marakisa.
Dembo Jarju said there should not be any problem between the two villages, and as a result he wrote an apology letter to the Jatta Kunda family, the accused continued to testify.
Asked if he knew that the land in question belonged to his grandfather, why he wrote an apology letter to the people of Marakisa village, the accused said he wrote the letter for the sake of peace, since as the village alkalo he knew he was responsible for its welfare and development.
The prosecutor then put it to him that he allocated somebody's land to the 'Alatentu Kaffo', but he denied this.
The case was later adjourned till 26 April 2011 for continuation.