16 January 2013

Gambia: Land Dispute Case At Kombo North District Tribunal

A land dispute case involving Arodose Quwareh, a native of Lamin Daranka village, and Lamin Jarju of Babillon village, both in the Kombo North District, was before the district tribunal presided over by the Paramount Chief in Lamin village, Kombo North District, West Coast Region. Quwareh (claimant) is claiming that a land belonging to him was sold by Jarju (defendant) who equally claims ownership.

According to the claimant, the land was given to him by the former Alkalo of Makumbaya village Mr. Sakari Kujabi to grow rice there and that after seven years of continuous cultivation he started to grow some fruit trees. He told the tribunal that the land was given to him by the said Alkalo on the basis that after every growing season part of the harvest would be given to the family of the said Alkalo as compensation. He said this was happening until the Alkalo passed away and the son, Kebba Kujabi, was appointed to take over from him.

He said the present Alkalo of Makumbaya (Mr. Kebba Kujabi) called and told him that he is fully aware of the agreement between him (Quwareh) and his late father and would now give him all the documents as a bona fide owner of the said land. The complainant said he filed his sermon since mid December 2012 but the defendant has still not received it.

Quwareh said he earned his survival from the orchard through the sale of the produce.

He said the size of his orchard is 120 x 100 square meters and that it produces about 50 to 70 bags of cashew nuts every year at the minimum price of 100 dalasi per bag. He said all the cashew trees which have been producing fruits all these years are now been cut down by the defendant to be used for settlement.

However, when the present Alkalo of Makumbaya was consulted to shed light on the issue, he confirmed the ownership of the said land by the claimant (Quwareh) which belonged to his father (former Alkalo), adding that many others were also equally given land for the purpose of agricultural use and for part of the produce to be given to our family.

He said after the death of his father and as the new Alkalo, he decided to give Quwareh all the necessary documents for the ownership of the said land.

He said the land was tampered with two months ago during the period he was suspended from the position of Alkalo after when he had disagreement with the former Minister of lands and Traditional Rulers Lamin Waa Juwara on the same land issue. He added that he was reinstated after when investigation on the issue was conducted.

The complainant said he found people cutting down the fruit trees in his orchard claiming that the land has been sold to them by Lamin Jarju who claimed to be the Alkalo of Babylon. He said he first reported the matter to the Mandinaring Police Station who then referred him to the paramount chief in Lamin village and which he did. He said the paramount chief then sent one of his assistants to go to scene in order to confirm his claim. He said when it was confirmed to the paramount chief that some people have encroached his land, he (paramount chief) then summoned Lamin Jarju to the district tribunal but the summoned document could not be delivered as the defendant could not be found.

The complainant said hearing was scheduled for the 9 January 2013 but it could not proceed because the defendant was not served. He said the clerk of the tribunal has reported that Jarju is still not served as they are unable to meet him at his home whenever they go there.

According to Karamo Jammeh, a senior assistant to the paramount chief, said the matter is adjourned until after the defendant is served his summons letter.

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