CRR RICE FARMERS’ COOPERATIVE PRESIDENT CALLS FOR JUSTICE

Abdoulai G. Dibba

Haruna Gassama who was unanimously elected as the President of CRR Rice Farmers’ Cooperative at its AGM has called on the new government to intervene and ensure justice.

According to Haruna, the AGM was conducted on the 5th of January 2012 and attended by over 500 farmers from Lower Fulladu West and other farmers from other parts of Central River Region attended. It was graced by dignitaries including the Deputy Governor CRR, Chairman Janjanbureh Area Council, Deputy Director and entourage from Agribusiness Service Unit, Regional Director of Agriculture and staff, Director of Administration Department of Agriculture, Lady Councillor Lower Fulladu West, Council of Elders Lower Fulladu West, Chief of Lower Fulladu West, Alkaloluu , Taiwan Technical Mission, Water Resources, Community Development, Action Aid International The Gambia, Police Intervention Unit of YBK, Station Officer and Police officer of Brikamaba, the National Intelligence Agency and the Press.

Mr Gassama stated that the delegates unanimously elected him (Mr. Haruna Gassama) unopposed as the President, and Ousman Mballow was elected Vice President , Alh Badou Njie as Cashier and Jayeh Baldeh as Assistant Cashier.

He said that in spite of this the outgoing executive committee led by Alh. Gimbou Trawally refused to hand over and the matter was referred to the high court which entered judgment on the 12th of January 2015 in their favour.

Haruna indicated that the Judgment was delivered by Justice Penda Dibba who ordered the defendants, Alhagi Musa Gimbo Trawally and his committee, to forthwith hand over the affairs and assets of the Rice Farmers Cooperative Society to the newly elected Executive led by Haruna Gassama. The order also required the outgoing committee to give a true and proper account of the financial state and assets of the Society. The order further retrained members of the outgoing committee led by Alhagi Gimbo Touray not to parade themselves as members of the Executive committee of Rice Farmers Cooperative Society.

Gassama said when the judgment was delivered, their counsel wrote a letter to the authorities which sought to promote an amicable implementation of the court decision to avoid any further friction between the members of the present and past executive Committees.

However he said, one month after the Judgment without execution of the court’s order, their Counsel went to the high court to seek an execution order, which was granted and the Sheriff Division was ordered to execute the judgment of the court.

“To my disappointment, I was arrested the same day the staff of sheriff division came to Lower Fulladu to execute the order and detained for 185 days incommunicado at the NIA Headquarters in Banjul” stated Haruna.

Mr Gassama noted that when he was released on Thursday, 3 September, 2015 after having been held for 185 days incommunicado, he was re-arrested on Saturday, 23 April 2016, after returning from his rice field and detained for 278 days at Janjangbureh Central Prison when he was released through the order of the new government.

“After going through all these, I am calling on the new government to execute the high court order for justice to be seen to be done in this case,” concluded Haruna Gassama President of CRR Rice Farmers Cooperative Society Ltd.

Editor’s Note

Mr Gassama is advised to see their lawyer to pursue the enforcement of the judgment since no executive interference is anticipated now.