25 March 2019

Gambia: Farato Demolition Victims Bemoan Their Ordeal

The victims of the recent demolition exercise in Farato, have told Foroya that all their life savings have gone in vain after their houses were razed to the ground by personnel of the Sherriff Division of the High Court.

Staff of the judiciary who were accompanied in the area by personnel of the Police Intervention Unit, said they were acting on court order.

Kebba kinteh a victim and a resident of Sinchu Alagie said he got his piece of land in 2018 from one kebba Drammeh and Alagie Jobe (the Kabilo head of the area).

He remarked, "I bought my land for D50,000 ( fifty thousand dalasi) from Kebba Drammeh and Alagie Jobe. "

He said the kabilo head of the area, Alagie Jobe, issued documents to him; adding one of the document bears the stamp of Alagie Jobe while the other one bears a stamp purportedly from the Alkalo of Bafuloto.

He added, "I spent all my savings on this land, and the house I built on it has been razed to the ground by the demolition team."

Another victim Mr Lamin Fatty said, " I bought my piece of land from Momodou Bojang, the alkalo of farato Bojang kunda. I bought it for fifty five thousand dalasi in 2016."

He said he later erected a fence round the piece of land.

He added, "I constructed a building in the compound and was just planning to move in when these people came and demolished it. All that I invested in the building has gone in vain."

Kebba Drammeh, a resident of Farato who doubles as a land dealer, said he sold some plots of land in the area to some people.

He remarked, "I did this with Alagie Jobe, the kabilo head of this area."

He added that he and Jobe were assigned by a local authority in Bafuloto to sell land in the area on his behalf.

Drammeh added, "He told us (the local authority) to sell land to any customer who needed land in Farato."

Drammeh said in the aftermath of the demolition, he, Jobe and the person who authorized them to sell the plots of land on his behalf, went to the Sheriff Division of the High Court to enquire about the demolition exercise because the residents of the area were not severed with a notice about the demolition. He said a senior staff of the Sheriff Division told them that they only went there (Farato) to see the empty land.

One lady, who begged for anonymity, lamented the demolition of her sister's house; noting her sister was tired of renting and that was why she purchased land in Farato.

This reporter will contact Momodou Bojang (the Alkalo of farato Bojang kinda), Alagie Jobe (the Kabilo head of the area), the Sherrif Division and the Alkalo of Bafuloto.

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