Tamsir Onasis Konteh Continues Defence

By Mamadou Dem
Tamsir Onasis Konteh, first accused in the trial of Waa Juwara and Co,
last Tuesday,9th  December continued to give evidence before PrincipalWaa Juwara
Magistrate Dawda Jallow of the lower court in Banjul.
Further testifying under defence, the first accused, Tamsir Onasis
Konteh told the court after he wrote a letter to the Ministry forLocal Government and Lands regarding his compensation and the ministry
wrote an approval letter indicating that they’ve given him 2000 square
metres 40m x 50m. He said later they did an estimation for survey and
premium fees which he paid.
He added that upon payment of the said fees, a lease document was
issued to him. He said he ended up selling the property to the then
Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Mr. Edward Sambou.
“During the selling process, did you do anything?” His attorney quizzed.
“Yes,” adding that he wrote a letter to the ministry for a change of
deed to Mr. .T. Sambou which he said was approved.
“I went to Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) to pay sales tax,” Konteh disclosed.
According to Mr. Konteh, he further wrote to the Ministry informing
them about his outstanding compensations. He said the letter dated
25th of October, 2011 confirmed that he was compensated with plot
number C8.
“At the time you received approval for compensation who was the
minister for local government and lands?” Tambadou enquired.
“Mr. Pierre Tamba,” replied the accused.
“When you got plot number C5, who was the minister?”
“Mr. Ismaila Sambou,” testified Konteh.
The first accused further informed the court that he wrote to the
ministry informing them that they’ve compensated him with 4000 square
metres and that there were 4000 square metres remaining.
Counsel asked, “Did you write another letter when you got plot number C8?”
“Yes,” he responded.
Counsel asked, “Who did you write to?”
“I wrote to the ministry of local government and lands,” Konteh disclosed.
“Was there a reaction?,” asked counsel.
“They wrote back to me and gave me an approval letter for plot number
C9,” testified the witness.
Mr. Konteh revealed to the court that upon receipt of a letter from
the Department of Lands and Surveys, dated 2nd August, 2012 he proceeded
with the payment of premium and surveys fees respectively. Another
letter of compensation dated 12 March, 2012 was shown to the accused
but prior to him dwelling on it, his attorney applied for adjournment.
Consequently, the case was adjourned till 18th December, 2012.
Readers would recall that the erstwhile Minister for Local Government,
Lands, Regional  Integration and Traditional Rulers, Lamin Waa Juwara
is standing trial for alleged ‘Neglect of Official duty.’ Mr. Konteh
is charged with Making False Documents, Uttering False Documents and
obtaining goods by false pretences.  Mr. Jallow is charged with ‘Abuse
of Office, Disobedience of statutory and Disobedience of lawful
orders, contrary to the laws of the Gambia, they’ve denied any wrong
doing and were each granted bail since last year.