27 February 2019

Gambia: 2 Arrested As Bijilo Eviction Turns Violent

Personnel of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) were reported to have arrested two people at Bijilo on Tuesday after a group of youths obstructing the Sheriff Division officials under the escort of the PIU eviction squad from executing orders issued by the Banjul High Court, The Point has been informed.

Two High Court's judgement and Supreme Court's ruling were delivered in favour of Mr. Alieu Barry, a Gambian British national and his Dutch partner, Mr. Bernd George Diedrich who claimed ownership of farmland property at Bijilo.

The official documents indicates that the duo have acquired the property that was leased in 1990 and 1996 respectively.

According to Mr. Barry, the late alkalo of Bijilo, Yankuba Jatta and others demarcated the property into 22 plots and sold it to people. "The matter was taken to court and judgment was delivered in favour of Mr. Barry and his Dutch partner before Justice Amadi of the Brikama High Court in 2012."

The court, he said, has ordered the occupants to evict from the property who later took the case to the Appeal Court but was subsequently dismissed, adding that copies of the judgements and leased documents are with him.

A source that spoke to our reporter added that out of the 22 occupants 4 of them have negotiated and paid compensation to Mr. Barry and his Dutch partner whilst the remaining occupants decided to appeal the judgement at the High Court which was also nullified by the court.

The Sheriff Division, our source explained, has issued eviction orders for them to leave and officials to execute the eviction exercise yesterday. "However, some of the occupants have locked their gates not allowing the court officials to enter while others came out to assault them."

"The occupants said they have invested so much money to build the properties. However, Mr. Barry said many of these people were not parties to the case. "It was the late alkali and others who sold the properties to them. They were aware of the case before developing the properties but decided to go ahead."


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