Magistrate urges Waa Juwara to exercise patience

By Mamadou Dem

Mr. Lamin Waa Juwara, the former Minister of Local Government, Lands and Traditional Rulers, was urged by Momodou S.M. Waa JuwaraJallow, the Principal Magistrate of the lower court in Banjul to be patient as the case will not be jeopardised.

The trial magistrate said this at the proceedings yesterday, Tueaday, 8 September, 2015.

This assurance from the bench came when Mr. Juwara told the court that he has observed the second defence (Dw2) reading from exhibits without citing the dates. He said it is important for dates to be cited so that the court will know who exactly is responsible, adding that he was not a minister in 2011.

The trial magistrate further told Mr. Juwara that he can channel all his concerns through his attorney and assured him that he will have ample time to express himself during his defence.

Mr. Juwara and two others, namely Tamsir Onasis Konteh and Hamidou Jallow, are being tried on various alleged criminal offences ranging from ‘Neglect of Official Duty’, ‘Making False Documents’, ‘Uttering False Documents’, ‘Obtaining goods by False Pretences’, ‘Abuse of Office’, ‘Disobedience of Statutory’ and ‘Disobedience of Lawful Orders’. The three accused persons denied any wrongdoing.

When the case resumed yesterday for continuation of cross-examination of Hamidou Jallow (DW2) by the prosecution, the State attorney, Mansour Jobe, asked whether it is correct that payments of land premium is a one off payment. The witness responded in the positive.

“You stated in your evidence that payment of premium were never made on plot number C8 and C9, thus resulting to their relocation from their original allocatees, Basirou Sambou and Kanilai Family Farm?” asked the state counsel. “Yes,” DW2 replied.

“Mr. Jallow will you be surprised that the premium paid by Basirou Sambou in relation to C8 was signed by yourself?” “Basirou neither paid land premium nor survey fees.”

After having a look at exhibit P3, the witness confirmed to the court that it is an invoice he prepared for Mr. Basirou Sambou to pay land premium. “Is there anywhere on exhibit P3 stating that it is an invoice?” asked the state counsel. “It is not stated here but I know its an invoice,” Dw2 responded.

“I put it to you that exhibit P3 is in fact a receipt and not an invoice?” “Exhibit P3 is not a receipt but an invoice,”

Reading from exhibit P3, the witness said: “Please have the sum of thirty thousand dalasis (D30, 000.00) being payments of land premium of Tanji layout.”

“You stated to the court that when you revoke the allocation of plot number C8 and C9 against the first accused person, a notice of relocation was sent to him. When plot number C8 and C9 was revoked from Basirou Sambou and KFF, where they notified?”

“No,” said the witness. He added that Mr. Sambou’s allocation was revoke based on the fact that after seven years of allocation, he never paid land premium and survey fees which, he said, was fundamental because none payment of the above tantamount to automatic withdrawal without notification of relocation.

According to Mr. Jallow, with regards to Kanilai Family Farm, there was no record showing an application up to the time of his dismissal, adding that when an allocation is done, a file is usually created and the then Director of Lands, Malamin Jatta, never brought any file to that effect.   Dw2 further confirmed to the court that exhibit DE1 was the testimony from then alkalo of Tanji, Malamin Bojang.

“You will agree with me that in a standard transfer certificate for ownership of land there is usually the name of the transferor and the transferee?” asked counsel Jobe.  “No,” responded DW2.

At this juncture, the matter was adjourned to 17th September for continuation of cross examination.

Earlier, the trial magistrate did tell the witness to answer to questions asked by state accordingly but not to give opinion evidence.