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Detained URR farmers to appear in court today

Dec 3, 2012, 9:59 AM | Article By: Nfamara Jawneh

Four farmers from the village of Kuwonkunding in the Wuli West district of the Upper River Region (URR), who have been remanded in custody at Janjangbureh prison for seven days, are expected to appear in court today in Basse.

According to reliable sources reaching this paper, the four persons, namely Saloum Barrow, Alhagie Touray, Almameh Touray and Mamudou Touray, were at first detained in police custody in Basse for three days with fourteen others from the URR village.

The remand detention of the four, who never appeared before a competent court within the jurisdiction, was purportedly ordered by the police commissioner in Basse, Ousman Jatta, and URR Governor Omar Khan.

“Yes, others would be granted bail whilst some would be taken to remand in Janjangbureh,” Governor Khan declared in a telephone interview with this reporter last Monday, before asking this reporter not to call him again in connection with this matter.

When contacted earlier on, and asked if their action was in conformity with the constitution, Basse police commissioner Jatta said they acted within “Gambian law”.

He further asked this reporter: “Is this the first time that you are seeing that?” 

It would be recalled that on Saturday 24th November 2012, the youths of Kuwonkunding reportedly had a problem with one Kanta Sabally, also known as Mbara, a wealthy cattle owner.

The URR village community, it was learned, had passed a rule that anyone whose cattle was found in their farms shall pay a fine.

Eye witnesses told this paper that Kanta Sabally’s animal was captured in a village farm, and tied at the village centre. Sabally went there with a knife, cut the rope and left with the animal, while daring anyone to stop him, our sources said.

The youths of the community, reportedly angered by his action, then allegedly had a confrontation with him.

The matter was reported to the police, who arrested and detained several persons for days.