Lands & Regional gov’t DPS testifies in Waa Juwara & Co trial

By IAfrica
In Gambia
Jul 2nd, 2014
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The deputy permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Lands and Regional Government- Saikou Sanyang, on Monday testified as the sixth prosecution witness (PW6) in the ongoing criminal trial involving the state against Lamin Waa Juwara, the former minister of Lands, Traditional Rulers and Regional Administration, Hamidou Jallow, ex-principal Land and Surveyor, at the Department of Lands and Survey and Tamsir Onassis Conteh, before Principal Magistrate Hilary Abeke of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court.

In his testimony, PW6 told the court that he lives in Brikama and that he is a civil servant at the said Ministry and is currently the deputy permanent secretary of Technical Matters.

According to him, as of May 2012, he was the permanent secretary, but he was acting all along until sometime in January 2013, when he was confirmed. He maintained that his work as the then permanent secretary entails overseeing the day-to-day administration of the Ministry and consultation with the line departments.

He adduced that there are two technical lines of departments: namely  the Department of Lands and Survey and the Department of Physical Planning and Housing Estate. He adduced that in respect of the Department of Lands and Survey, it is the department that prepares maps countrywide and various types of maps and it also keeps lands records, as well as ensure the judicious administration of lands, that is, land administration, which includes “but not limited to facilitating the press of the general public in terms of this application and execute land cases.”

DPS Sanyang disclosed that the Department of Lands serves as the advising counsel to the Minister on various applications and request of lands; and that when these advises are given by the minister, they will of course forward such requests in support of relevant documents.

PW6 revealed that the director of Lands and Survey will then forward the request to the ministry and that the onward transaction of the director will get the supporting documents from the applicant. He further informed the court that he has worked closely with the second accused (Hamidou Jallow), when he was at the Department for many years, but came to know Tamsir Onasis Conteh, when he was following a compensation of Lan that he claimed he has lost at Tanji Layout. He revealed that Lamin Waa Juwara was his minister in 2012, when he was the permanent secretary.

DPS Sayang also acknowledged that he knows one Malamin Jatta now (deceased), whom he said, was the then director of Lands and Survey, adding that he came to know him as a civil servant.

PW6 adduced that Malamin Jatta came to be the director of Lands and Survey since 2005, until the Commission of Lands and Enquiry was instituted, when he was sent on leave after which he came back in 2012. Hearing continues on July 2014 for continuation.

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