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Former principal lands and valuation officer cross-examined in Waa Juwara & co trial

Aug 20, 2015, 9:35 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The state counsel Mansour Jobe yesterday commenced cross-examining the former principal lands and valuation officer at the Ministry of Local Government and Lands, Hamidou Jallow, in the trial involving him and others, before principal magistrate M.S. Jallow of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court.

The other accused persons are Lamin Waa Juwara, former Minister of Regional Administrations, Lands and Traditional Rulers, and Tamsir Onasis Conteh, a local businessman.

Testifying under cross-examination, Jallow told the court that it was correct that he had attended a meeting with the 3rd accused person together with other officials at the ministry of lands and surveys.

He said the plots C8 and C9 were allocated to the first accused person before the issuance of the notification, and that officials of the department of lands and surveys met related to the same issue.

He said the demarcation was to have those allocated with plots of land to have their letters and the conditions clearly stipulated on the said letters.

He said one of the conditions was to pay survey fee and land premium within a period of 16 days, failing which there would be automatic withdrawal of their land.

In the case of Basirou Sambou, since 2006-2012, he had not paid anything and he had never developed the said land, he told the court.

He said the first accused person had paid the survey fee and the land premium, which had been paid to state coffers.

He said the first accused person had developed the piece of land by building a very solid fence, adding that several meetings had been held relating to the two plots of land, which was why the two plots were returned to the first accused person, because he had made some development on the said plots of land.

According to Jallow, the department of Physical Planning “felt satisfied and that it was genuine to compensate” the first accused person with the two plots of land.

The case was adjourned until 27 August 2015.