Testifying before Magistrate Hillary Abeke at Banjul Magistrate’s Court in the ongoing trial of Lamin Waa Juwara and Co. was Saikou Sanyang, the deputy Permanent Secretary at the Lands Ministry.
Sanyang, who said he is responsible for technical matters at the ministry, said his role was to oversee the day to day administrative function of the ministry and endorse consultation with the Land Department.
The 3rd accused person Waa Juwara, a former minister of lands, regional administration and traditional rulers, Tamsir Onasis Conteh 1st accused and Hamidou Jallow 2nd accused are standing trial on “conspiracy, making false documents’, obtaining goods by false pretence, disobedience of lawful orders and abuse of office.” They have all earlier denied the charges.
PS Sanyang, 6th prosecution witness adduced that there are two technical departments: one is the Department of Lands and Survey and the other is the department of Physical Planning and Housing.
He said department of lands and survey prepares various maps countrywide and keeps plan records. It ensures the judicial administration countrywide which includes but not limited to facilitating request from the general public in terms of application for lands.
As an advisory arm of the ministry, the department of lands and survey advices the minister on various application and request for land.
He said when advises are given they will often called such request with relevant supporting document. It’s the director of land who will forward the document to the department of lands and survey – the director will get the relevant document form the applicant.
Mr. Sanyang acknowledged working closely with the second accused person Hamidou Jallow, when he [Hamidou] was working at the ministry of lands and survey.
He said that he knows the first accused Tamsir Onasis Conteh when he was claiming compensation of a land he lost in Tanji layout and that the third accused Waa Juwara was his minster in 2012 when he was serving as permanent secretary.
He said that he knows the late Malamin Jatta who was the director of lands and survey during his career as civil servant.
He added that he can’t remember the appointment date of Malamin Jatta but he knows that he was the director from 2005 until the commission of land enquires was instituted.
The trial is adjourned till 9 and 14 June 2014 for continuation.