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Former APRC constituency chairman trial reaches climax

Mar 1, 2011, 12:15 PM | Article By: Yai Dibba Jallow

The criminal trial of one Alhagie Dembo Jarju, former APRC chairman of Kombo Central, who was charged with giving false information, reached its climax at the Brikama Magistrates’ Court before Magistrate Babucarr Secka.

In his defence, the accused, Alhagie Dembo Jarju, told the court that regarding the land issue in Marakisa ward, the elders were informed that, if Alieu Jarju continued to serve as a councillor, there would be problems.

When asked by his counsel, Borry Touray, whether apart from the problem relating to land, there was any other problem that warranted the independent candidate to contest in the ward, Jarju replied, 'yes'.

When again asked by his counsel which party Marakisa supported, Jarju in response said that all Marakisa ward supported the APRC, because they are all members of APRC.

"When I wrote a petition to the President for this political problem to be solved, the President replied to me that he had assigned cabinet members Yankuba Touray, Ismaila Sambou, the Director of GRTS, Alhagie Modou Sanyang, and the Paramount Chief, Demba Sanyang, for them to go and solve the problem in Marakisa ward," Jarju told the court.

According to him, these four people instead of going to solve the problem in Marakisa ward, attacked him, adding that the reason why they attacked him was because they were fighting Santang Bojang.

He said the main supporters of Alieu Jarju are Dembo Santang Bojang, Jung Jarju and Alhagie Omar A.B. Faye, the Alkalo of Busura. This was in response to a question asked by his counsel, as to who were the main supporters of Alieu Jarju.

Jarju further told the court that he worked for the Marakisa ward for 13 years, adding that Dembo Santang Bojang took the chairmanship from him, and gave it to Dembo Keleng Bojang.

"I went to Dembo Keleng Bojang and told him that I would not betray the APRC Government," he added.

He said, when Alieu Jarju was nominated, he was supported by Dembo Santang Bojang, adding that before Alieu would stand as a councillor, he was the vice chairman to him and was very close to him.

Jarju revealed that because Alieu was very close to him, Dembo Santang Bojang and Dembo Keleng Bojang hated Alieu.

He said, by then, Alieu wanted to stand as a councillor, and chief Dembo Santang Bojang refused to give him the nomination card, because of hatred.

Still testifying, the witness told the court that the elders of the ward went to the IEC, and brought forms and shared it among the four candidates, including Alieu himself.

According him, when those people attacked him, the problem was not solved, and the President sent a very strong instruction, adding that Governor Lamin Sanneh took him with his vehicle to Yankuba Touray's office in Banjul.

He said that at Yankuba Touray's office, he was asked to sit at the waiting room, and they went and discussed and after the discussion they called him to a meeting where Ismaila Sambou showed him a letter, and told him that his (the accused person) name was not in that letter, and that he should not be present when they were discussing.

He said Ismaila Sambou told him that Yankuba Touray was part of the 22nd July Revolution that toppled  the former PPP Government, adding that it was then Yankuba also jumped and told him that he (Yankuba) would have problems with him.

When asked by his counsel why those people assigned to investigate did not want to investigate this problem and address it, the accused in reply said, "because they did not want to reveal the evil thing that Alieu Jarju did to the people."

The case was then adjourned till 11th March 2011.