May 5, 2009, 7:15 AM
Modou Lamin Jarju, alias Rongo, was recently cross-examined in the civil suit filed by Banjulinding Village acting-Alkalo Momodou Lungs Jarju, on behalf of the community of Banjulinding village against four defendants, before Justice Mahoney of the Banjul High Court.
The defendants are Alhagie Lamin Jarju, 1st defendant, Modou Lamin Rongo Jarju, 2nd defendant, the Ministry of Local Government and Lands, 3rd defendant, and the Attorney General and the Ministry of Justice, 4th defendant.
Rongo, under cross-examination, told the court he is 43 years old and was born, grew up and still lives in Banjulinding.
The customary farmland had been owned by his parents and his family since colonial days and later transferred to him as a gift, he adduced, saying he had documents to that effect some of which had already been submitted before the court.
He said he could show a specific document to that effect which was indicated in exhibit D-7 within the second to last paragraph, adding that exhibit D-7 and P4 were the same documents, prepared on 1 January 2000.
Rong admitted that his father is the 1st defendant.
He explained that the said documents were made well before Sheriffo M.A. Colley became the Alkalo of Banjulinding, adding that Sheriffo M.A. Colley became the Alkalo of Banjulinding Village in 2005.
Rongo said it was true that Tom Bright Notarize stamp, as well as his signature, were on the document, and Tom Bright notarised them between 2005 and 2007, when he (Rongo) decided to file a suit against the plaintiff, Modou Lungs Jarju.
“When I noticed a continued encroachment into my family land in 2005, they later appealed to me to for give them,” Rongo stated.
When it was put to him by Counsel Kebba Sanyang that Tom Bright indicated in the documents that he, Tom Bright, notarised the document on 1 January 2013 and he, Rongo, said he took it to him between 2005 and 2007, Rongo said that was very true, because the documents were already prepared well before in 2000 and after that, they were taken to him for notifications.
The witness pointed out that his family was the founder of Banjulinding Village, saying he was relying on both the documents he tendered in court and the ones at home.
He wanted to keep the ones at home as backup, he said, adducing further that the former chief of Kombo North, Fansu Bojang, did not give any written documents to his father then with regard to the suit land.
The land was given to him by his father in a traditional way, as it used to be in those days, he said, adding that the information was not only relayed to him by his father, but his grandfather also did so, and many elders, including the council of elders and the evidential documents regarding the history of his parents to the land.
He also said his father knew Fansu Bojang very well, stating that he did not know whether he saw or knew Fansu Bojang.