By Nelson Manneh
Pa Lamin Jatta the third defense witness (DW3) in the ongoing criminal suit involving one Isaac Ague and the Minister of Basic and Secondary Education Claudiana Cole, told the Court that the land where Model Senior Secondary School is built in Busumbala village, belongs to Isaac Ague. Jatta disclosed this in front of Magistrate N. Blessed on Tuesday January 8th January 2019, during his cross-examination at the Brikama Magistrate.
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, Revise Edition of the Laws of the Gambia 2009.
When the case was called, Isaac Ague announced his presence whilst Sergent B. Jarju appeared for the Inspector General of Police. Pa Lamin Jatta DW3 also announced his presence. Jatta in his cross-examination reminds the Court that he is the Chairperson of Busumbala Village Development Committee (VDC); that the VDC together with the Alkalo and the elders of Busumbala village, sold land to Isaac Ague. He said he did not know anything about the establishment of the School itself but they sold land to Isaac.
Sergent B. Jarju who appeared for the Inspector General of Police, put it to the witness (DW3) that the accused person (Isaac Ague), was employed by the late Mr. Cole, who is the owner of the School.
Jatta informed the Court that he is not aware of the land given to Cole; that all he knows is that the land was sold to Mr. Isaac by the villagers; that the said land was first shown to Cole but it was not sold to him, adding that the land belongs to Isaac Ague.
It could be recalled that Jatta, the Chairperson of Busumbala village during his initial testimony, told the Court that in the year 2000, one Mr. Cole came to them and told that he wants a plot of land to build a School; that they told him they will not sell the land, but will make a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with him and make it a joint project to build the School.
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 a land to build a school. He said they gave him the same condition but later agreed to sell the land to him (Mr. Isaac).
The matter was then adjourned to the 15th of January 2019.