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Jamburr Alkalo testifies in Waa Juwara’s trial

Nov 14, 2014, 9:52 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay & Fatou Jallow

The Alkalo of Jamburr, Haruna Bojang, Thursday testified in the ‘abuse of office’ case involving former Minister of Lands Lamin Waa Juwara, before Magistrate Janneh of the Brikama Magistrates’ Court.

Designated as the first prosecution witness (PW1), Haruna Bojang told the court he is the Alkalo of Jamburr and recognised the accused person.

In his testimony he said that on Friday afternoon he received a phone call from the then Chief of Kombo South, Mustapha Touray, who told him that Sinchu Gidom had now been allocated an Alkalo title.

“I know Sinchu Gidom because they are the guests of Jarreh Kunda, a Kabilo in Jamburr,” Alkalo Bojang said.

He asked the chief whether that should be done, because as the Alkalo of Jamburr he should be informed before splitting his village.

The chief also told him he received the information from the Governor’s office.

The witness said former Governor Lamin Sanneh was the Governor at that time, and the accused person was the Minister of Local Government and Lands.

Alkalo Bojang adduced that he was just an alkalo responsible for a village; so he gathered his kabilo elders and told them about it.

They had six kabilos in Jamburr including Jabang, Bandeh, Jarreh, Morri and Bunja Kunda, he said.

He told the elders what happened, and they decided to go to the chief and then to the Governor to further enquire about the issue.

Bojang said he did not go, but the elders selected some people to go, and among them was one Omar Bojang.

They waited for a while, but did not hear anything from either the chief or Governor and, since the issue had not brought peace to the village they wrote a letter, signed it and sent it to the NIA to investigate the matter and they also sent it to the Office of the President.

He added that they waited for a long time before receiving information that Momodou Jallow had been removed as an Alkalo in Sinchu Gidom, which was done without his knowledge as an Alkalo of Jamburr.

The deputy Governor, Bakary Jaiteh, told him to go to the office and upon arriving they showed him a letter of termination; that Momodou Jallow was dismissed as Alkalo of Sinchu Gidom and that the kabilo has been returned to Jamburr.

He identified the termination letter, which was tendered and marked as exhibit without any objection from the accused person.

The case was adjourned to 24 November 2014.

According to the charge sheet, the former Minister of Lands, Lamin Waa Juwara, sometime in 2012 at Sinchu Gidom village in the West Coast Region, being an employee of the Gambia Government as minister of Local Government, Lands and Regional Administration, abused the authority of his office in a manner prejudicial to the Alkalo (village head) and the elders of Jamburr village by creating Sinchu Gidom as a village and appointed one Baboucarr Sillah as an Alkalo of the said village, knowing that Sinchu Gidom is a Kabilo within Jamburr village.