May 14, 2009, 6:22 AM
The trial involving Omar AB Faye, the Alkalo of Busura village in the West Coast Region, Tuesday continued before the Brikama Magistrates’ Court with the testimony of the fourth prosecution witness.
The Busura village head is standing trial on a charge of abuse of office.
Alhaji Dembo Jarju, a resident of Brikama, testified as the fourth prosecution witness, before Magistrate Baboucarr Secka.
In his testimony, Mr. Jarju told the court that, sometime in 2004 and again 2010, there was a problem between Marakisa village and Busura village.
He said, one day, he was on his way to the Brikama Area Council when he was stopped by a person with a pedal cycle, who informed him that the Busura Alkalo and the Councillor, Alieu Jarju, had reported the people of Marakisa at the Brikama Police Station.
“I went to the Brikama Police Station, but did not find the accused and the councillor, but I found the people of Marakisa and two other persons from Marakisa Jatta Kunda being detained by the police.”
The reason, he added, was that the people of Busura said they had a garden on a piece of land Marakisa people were claiming ownership.
“I went to the station officer to beg him to withdraw the matter from the police station to the community level, because I did not want the two villages to go to court, and my appeal was accepted,” Jarju added.
According to him, from the police station, they went together with some people of Marakisa village to visit the disputed area.
Jarju said, on arrival, they found some people working under the authority of the accused, and they saw the 68 newly-planted cashew trees, which were cut down, some of which were in that disputed area for 10 years.
“I told the workers that if the damaged trees were the cause of the problem between the two villages, he (the witness) would sacrifice and pay, so that the problem could be settled,” he further told the court.
He added that at the said disputed area, he was shown three different plots of land, which belong to Colley Kunda, Jatta Kunda, and Jarju Kunda.
Jarju further adduced that he later brought the elders of the four villages, namely, Marakisa, Busura, Jalanbantang and Seyone to the site, and asked them which village was the owner of the disputed area. He told the court that all the elders agreed that the area belonged to Marakisa village.
He further testified that he later went and informed Abdou Badjie, then assistant Governor of North Bank Region, Alieu Jarju and Musa Sanneh about the problem between the villages, and that he needed them to go with him to Busura to settle the matter.
“I went with Abdou Badjie, Alieu Jarju and Musa Sanneh to the accused person’s compound in Busura, where we met all the elders of the four villages,” Jarju stated.
He explained that during the meeting, the elders of the four villages agreed that the land belonged to Marakisa.
“After the meeting, the accused wrote an apology letter to the people of Marakisa that he was misled by some people,” he further told the court.
The case was then adjourned until 17th January 2011.