By Muhammed Sailu Bah The Lower Nuimi District Tribunal in Essau on Thursday 11 June 2015 fined the “Alkalo” of Maka village the sum of D6000 for two offences related to land in his village. He was fined D5000 for using Maka village land and obstructing livestock from using it as pathway. He was fined another D1000 for pulling down 2 pillars erected by the Village Development Committee. The complainants claim that the land was designated as pathway for livestock but the defendant Alkalo claim that the land is his property. He also denied that he pulled down two of the erected pillars. The findings of the tribunal are that he pulled down the pillars and the land was designated as pathway for livestock. It was not clear whether or not the trial was criminal because of lack of adherence to the procedures of the Criminal Procedure Code. However, from the pronouncements of the tribunal it seems the case was treated as a criminal case. The Tribunal was presided over by Fabakary Nana Sonko Chief of Lower Nuimi, and included five court members. The Judgment was read on behalf of the Tribunal by Sanna Sonko. According to the judgment, the tribunal has listened to all parties as well as all witnesses who came to testify. Sanna Sonko said, “Today is your Judgment and is the third time we have sittings on this matter and the court after listening to both parties as well as witnesses has found the accused person Guilty and the court based it on the following reasons.
- All witnesses testified on Oath.
- We know that the Plaintiffs Ousman Ceesay is a native of Maka village, Ebrima Bah is the Chairman of the Livestock Farmers Association and Balla Manneh the Plaintiff is the Alkalo of Maka village.
- We also understand that during the Demarcation of the Land Balla Manneh the accused was present, the two ‘plaintiffs’ and other members of the village as well as representatives from the Chief of Lower Nuimi. And also the Pathway that was demarcated was an old way for Livestock used as a pathway in reaching the main bush.
- The plaintiffs brought witnesses but the Accused Balla Manneh never brought any.
- We also know that the Livestock Association in close collaboration with the Village Development Committee of Maka Village erected Pillars and the 2 pillars that were pulled down were found at the Alkalo’s Farm (the Accused).
- The pathway is for the benefit of everyone and we are not looking at a person’s interest but the interest of all.
- Pastoral Farming is part of agriculture and agriculture is the backbone of the economy of our country and it comprises different aspects which include animal rearing. This is of great concern and will never be compromised.