The Gambia’s former Land Minister on Tuesday escaped one legal fight in Brikama but Lamin Waa Juwara is still embroiled in another abuse of office case in Banjul Magistrates’ Court.
Juwara was off the hook following the conspicuous absence of the prosecution in court. Tuesday’s sitting was the third time the state was not present in court, which prompted Magistrate SK Jobarteh to acquit and discharge Mr. Juwara.
Mr. Juwara denied the abuse of office charge. He was earlier granted bail in the sum of D500, 000 with two Gambian sureties.
The former Lands and Minister was charged with abusing the authority of his office in 2012, when he created Sinchu Gidom as a village and appointed one Bubcarr Sillah as an alkalo (head of the village). Mr. Juwara’s action, according to the charge sheet, was prejudicial to the alkalo and elders of Jamburr village. He was blamed for creating a village within a village.
Mr. Juwara, once firebrand opposition politician during and after the transition from military to civilian rule, defected to the ruling APRC. He was appointed a governor and minister until his removal from office. The man who earned the title of Mbarodi, meaning a lion in Fula language, has since been embroiled in legal battle upon legal battle. He is also facing several charges, including negligence of official duties, at Banjul Magistrate’s Court.