Waa juwara and co trial continues

By: Sainabou Jatta

The state trial against Lamin Waa Juwara, former minister at the Ministry of Local Government Regional Administration and Traditional Rulers, Hamidou Jallow, ex-principal evaluation officer at the Department of Lands and Survey and Tamsir Onasis Conteh continued yesterday, 17th September 2015 under cross- examination of the 2nd accused before Principal Magistrate Momodou M.S. Jallow of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court.

At the resumption of the case, 2nd accused Hamildou Jallow informed the court that Exhibit E (a letter) emanated from the Brikama Area Council.

The witness explained that there was no trace of any payment of land rates to the Brikama Area Council in the said Exhibit E.

He pointed out that the 1st accused; Conteh has a very genuine case which he submitted to the Department of Physical Planning and Housing and also to the Department of Lands and Surveys and the Ministry of Lands and Local Government, the parent body.

DW2 revealed that land application undergo through serious scrutiny and vigorous process and are dealt with by various officers of the departments.

Hamidou Jallow explained that under the Land Compensation Act of 1991, lands were acquired by the state for public purposes, stating that this act specifies that anybody who falls under this category should be compensated equitably and adequately as a result Conteh’s case fell under that category and he was compensated.

The witness informed that the first accused, Conteh’s compensation was initiated in 2005 by then Minister Ismaila Sambou and because it was not adequate, he further pursued it during Minister Pierre Tamba’s tenure and was compensated with two plots because his case was more than genuine.

He denied the prosecution claim that the application for the 1st accused’s compensation was baseless.

When asked by prosecutor as to who was the minister of Lands at the time when the allocations of Basirou Sambou and Kanilai Family Farms were revoked and reallocated to the first accused (conteh). The witness replied Lamin Waa Juwara.

Hearing continues on the 29th September 2015.