Sep 9, 2015, 9:54 AM
Magistrate Junkung Jobarteh of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court on 22 May 2014 ruled in favour of Manjai Kunda’s former Alkalo Momodou Lamin Camara, who was dragged to court by one Lena Gomez, who claimed the defendant demolished her house, killed her pigs and sold her land.
Plaintiff Lena Gomez called two witnesses who testified in her favour, following her testimony and the tendering of some documents issued to her by KMC.
At the closure of her case, the defendant, Momodou Lamin Camara, also testified and tendered some documents, and called a witness who testified in his favour.
The case was subsequently adjourned for him to call his second witness to testify but on the resumption of the case, the witness failed to appear in court.
The plaintiff was awarded cost of D500.
The case was again adjourned and the witness again failed to appear in court. The plaintiff was again awarded cost of D250.
When the case resumed, the defendant’s witness was expected to appear in court only to hear Lawyer Sheriff Tambedou announce his representation of the defendant.
He told the court he was opposing the suit filed by the plaintiff, Lena Gomez, because, according to him, the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. He said he would file his brief. The plaintiff was advised to file her brief to respond to the defence counsel.
After both parties had filed their briefs, the case was adjourned for ruling.
On 22 May 2014, Magistrate Jobarteh ruled that the plaintiff prayed for a court order for the defendant to hand over the plot of land to her.
He said the plaintiff intimated that she was allocated a rice field situated at Manjai Kunda, and also stated that the defendant, after assumption of the office of the Alkalo, seized the said land and sold it to one Muhammed Sumareh.
Magistrate Jobarteh, in his ruling, said the matter could not be determined unless the court determined the ownership of the said land.
He cited some authorities to back his statement.
He further stated that in a claim for possession, it is necessary to determine who owns the land because the person seeking eviction must hold title to the land or property.
He said that having heard the evidence as well as section 3 of the Subordinate Court (civil proceedings act), he ruled that the court lacked jurisdiction to determine title to land.
He therefore struck out the case for want of jurisdiction.