28 November 2012

Gambia: Rongo's Case in Brikama Continues

Momodou Lamin Jarju (Rongo) and his father Alhagie Lamin Jarjue are still facing criminal charges at the Brikama Magistrate's Court before Principal Magistrate Hilary Abeke.

The prosecution has called several witnesses to testify in the matter and they closed their case. The first accused Rongo has now entered his defence in the case.

When the matter was called on Monday in Brikama, the police prosecutor was in court and the accused person's Lawyer S. Gaye was also present in court.

DW1 Rongo was asked to enter the witness box and he has started giving evidence.

Rongo's Lawyer asked him to focus on exhibit C which is the investigation report conducted by the NDEA, which document is titled "the illegal activities of Momodou Lamin Jarju involving communal land". His lawyer asked Rongo to tell the court which communal land they are talking about. The lawyer added that various witnesses have testified before the court saying that one Landing Kotoring Janneh allocated the said land to the community. Rongo in response said that statement is incorrect. Rongo said that man does not have land in Banjulinding much more to give out land. His lawyer asked him (Rongo) to tell the court who Landing Kotoring Janneh is. Rongo responded that that man is the first Alkalo of Banjulinding; that the man was a nice and honest person.

His lawyer asked Rongo to tell the court where Kotoring Janneh is at the moment. "The man passed away since 1993" answered Rongo.

The lawyer asked "When he passed away who succeeded him?" Rongo said he was succeeded by Eric Tundeh Janneh.

"If there is a reserve land left, will Eric know about it?" Rongo answered in the positive. At this stage the accused was shown exhibit C and his lawyer said: "Statements were obtained from various people in Banjulinding, do that document contains Eric Tundeh Janneh's statement? "Never" Rongo said.

Can you tell the court what your interest is in the said land which they are referring to as communal land. Rongo said "the said land traditionally and officially belongs to my family" Rongo added that, this was since the colonial days and he has documents to prove that the land is theirs. Rongo said he has traditional and official documents which are all endorsed. "Who compiled all these enclosure 145 and 6 in the said report?" "I don't know" answered Rongo.

"PW3 told this court that Rongo provided some documents to assist in their investigation, what documents did you provide for them?" Asked the lawyer.

"I have provided them with most of my traditional and official documents including judgment documents from both the magistrate and the high courts" Said Rongo.

The matter continues on 5th December 2012.

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