By Rohey Jadama
The Presiding Magistrate at the Banjul Magistrate’s Court Dawda Jallow has asked the first accused person Tamsir Onasis Konteh to enter his defence after the prosecution closed its case in the trial of Waa Juwara and others.
The eighth prosecution witness Essa Camara, the Principal Planning Officer at the Department of Physical Planning gave his evidence in Chief.
PW8 said he recognized the accused persons and he can recall what transpired on October 2012. He adduced that he wrote a statement in October pertaining to this case but he cannot remember the date. Essa Camara told the court that he had a meeting with the then Director of Lands and Survey, Mr.Saihou Sanyang, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Lands and Regional Government (PW6), 2nd accused person and 3rd accused person respectively.
He was asked what the meeting was about.
He replied that the meeting was in relation to an action on a piece of land in Tanji layout. He said that the first accused, Tamsir Onasis Konteh failed to develop the said plot within 2 years and in accordance with the Land Act, the land was supposed to be re-entered and given to another person.
He was asked about the criteria for one to be allocated a piece of land. In response, the witness said one has to be a Gambian and must develop the plot, that he must not have a plot allocated to him by government preceding 5years. “Who made the decision in the meeting?” asked prosecutor A Bah. Camara said, “I can’t recall who made the decisions but it was based on consensus, and the first accused was not in the meeting initially but was later called in and he was not an employee of the Ministry.” The case is adjourned to the 19th of November for the 1st accused to enter his defense.