May 15, 2014, 1:43 PM
Chief Inspector Famara Sanneh, a police officer attached to the Mandinaba Police Station yesterday testified in the criminal trial of 86 accused persons who are charged with three counts of conspiracy, disobeying a lawful order and threatening violence.
Testifying before Magistrate Emmanuel Amadi at the Brikama Magistrates' Court, Chief Inspector Sanneh said on the day in question he was at home when he received a telephone call that Gidda and Giboro people are again in the disputed area, armed with cutlasses.
According to him, upon receiving the information he then called Inspector Trawally at Giboro Police Station and instructed him to go there, and that he himself later joined Inspector Trawally at the scene, where both of them advised the two parties to keep away from the disputed area.
He informed the court that, a week before the day in question, he went to see the Alkalo of the two villages and asked them to call their people.
He said he then warned them to stop going to the piece of land in dispute, as he put it, it will bring problems to the two communities.
Chief Inspector Sanneh further told the court that he urged them to go to the District Chief and the Governor of the Region to seek advice, otherwise if anything goes wrong the police will intervene.
He added that it was at that moment when the IGP arrived at the scene, and ordered them to write down the names of all the accused persons, and also to disarm them. Subsequently, he added, they arrested all the accused persons, together with their cutlasses, and took them to the police station and statements were later obtained from them.
He revealed that before 31st January 2010, he had a phone call from the District Chief who informed him that Giboro-Kuta and Gidda have a land dispute, and that he should go to Giboro Police Station to confirm whether this was true, which he later confirmed to be the truth
Under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Ms. Sagara Jahateh, the witness said that he was not aware that before 31 January 2010 the people of Giboro had started clearing the land.He confirmed that, being the station officer at the Mandinaba Police Station, he was aware that the people of Giboro have another criminal matter at the High Court of, which the people of Gidda are the complainants. He said he heard from the Alkalo of Gidda that it was about the land in dispute.