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Seven in Court After Dispute Over Land

May 14, 2008, 7:54 AM | Article By: By Abdoulie Nyockeh

About seven people from the border village of Giboro in Kombo East are currently on trial after being embroiled in a dispute over land.

The seven men, including the Alkalo of Giboro, have reportedly descended on the settlement of Gidda and damaged properties there-in. The act, which occurred in November of 2007, was said to have been provoked by an alleged encroachment on the land of Giboro by the inhabitants of Gidda.

The case, in the meantime, resumed on Friday at the Brikama Magistrates' Court. At Friday's court session, the counsel for the seven beleaguered men, Borry Touray, continued with the cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses. Earlier, the prosecution officer, 413 Sanyang, objected to the application of counsel Touray to quiz his witnesses. Sanyang argued that Touray was just trying to lengthen the case as he could have cross-examined the witnesses since November if he had so wished.

But magistrate John Njie exercised his rule over the matter, disallowed Sanyang's arguments and allowed counsel Touray to quiz the prosecution witnesses.

Lawyer Touray, in cross-examining the 1st prosecution witness, Nuha Badjie, asked Badjie about his age and if he was in the knowledge that it was the people of Giboro who gave land to the people Gidda. In response, Badjie said he was 50 but that he was not aware if it was the residents of Giboro that welcomed the people of Gidda. Further quizzing Badjie, counsel Touray wanted to know why the need for a boundary between Giboro and Gidda. Badjie, in his reply, maintained that Giboro did not want Gidda to record an expansive growth.

At that point, the case was adjourned for further hearings. 

Land dispute is one of the thorny issues confronting our traditional administrations and the problem has now assumed an alarming proportion.

About 95 people are awaiting the result of their trial for allegedly launching an attack on the village of Babylon in Kombo North. Houses and properties were destroyed in the wake of the attack, which was reportedly engendered by a dispute over land.