By Nelson Manneh
Pa Lamin Jatta the third defense witness (DW3) in the ongoing criminal suit involving one Isaac Ague and the Minister for Basic and Secondary Education Claudiana Cole, on Thursday December 27th 2018, appeared before the Magistrate’s Court in Brikama.
Isaac Ague was charged with one count of giving false information to a public servant, contrary to Section 114 of the Criminal Code Cap 10:01, Volume 3, Laws of the Gambia, revised edition 2009.
When the case was called before Magistrate N. Bless, Isaac Ague announced his presence in Court, whilst Sargent B. Jarju, appeared for the Inspector General of Police, and Pa Lamin Jatta, DW3, announced his presence.
Jatta in his testimony said he is the Chairperson of the Busumbala VDC; that they (the elders of the village together with the VDC), once sold a plot of land to Isaac Ague around the years 2006-2007; that he is representing the entire VDC because he is their Chairperson. Jatta said in the year 2000, one Mr. Cole came to them that he wants a plot of land to build a School; that they told him they will not sell him the land, but will work out a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with him, and make it a joint project to build the School.
DW3 said they held this meeting with Mr. Cole at the Alkalos compound in Busumbala; that they agreed with him that he will come back to write the MOU; but when he left, he never returned to meet them.
The witness told the Court that after six to seven years, one man by the name Isaac Ague, also came to them and told them that he wants land to build a School; that they give him the same condition, but they later agreed to sell the land to him (Mr. Isaac).
Jatta told the Court that in 2012, one Mrs. Cole approached him and told him that the School belongs to her husband and needs their help. DW3 said he told her that he does not know anything about the School, but that the land belongs to the village, and that they agreed and sold it to Mr. Isaac; that this is all he knew.
He said Mrs. Cole took him (DW3) to different places but he still told her the same thing; that the land belongs to them and they sold it to Mr. Isaac Ague.
The matter was then adjourned to the December 8th 2019, for cross examination of DW3.