Apr 24, 2013, 9:25 AM
The Chief of Kombo East district in the Western Region, Alhagi Basiru Jarjue, has warned forest intruders that anyone found wanting at his district tribunal of forest related offences, will be given a heavy sentence without any mercy.
Chief Jarjue made this statement while presiding over a case in which four accused persons were arraigned before him for illegal activities in the forest.
The first and second accused persons: Haruna Bojang and Salifu Gibba, were charged with illegal felling of trees, contrary to Section 109 of the Forestry Act. They were each sentenced to a fine of D2500, in default to serve one year in prison.
The third and fourth accused persons: Sulayman Sanyang and Nayan Jamanka, who were charged with charcoal burning, contrary to Section 108 of the Forestry Act were convicted and sentenced to a fine of D2000 each, in default to serve six months in prison.
Chief Jarjue advised the forestry officers to continue the hard work by ensuring that the forest is well-protected against intruders, and not to compromise with anyone found wanting in depleting the forest cover.
According to him, the citizens of this country should not allow any person to come and enrich him or herself through the forest, noting that the protection of the forest is a collective responsibility of all and sundry.
"I will never have mercy on anyone found destroying our forest cover," he declared, and strictly warned people to desist from intruding the forest. As he put it, the forest is serving many useful purposes.
The Senior Forestry Officer who was handling the case file, Babucarr Badjie, revealed that the illegal felling of trees carries a fine of D6000 or one year imprisonment, while charcoal burning carries a fine of D3000 or six months in prison.