Lamin Waa Juwara, former Minister of Local Government and Lands, was Monday acquitted and discharged on a charge abuse of office by Magistrate E. Jaiteh of the Brikama Magistrates’ Court.
His acquittal and discharge followed a ruling on the no-case-to-answer submission made by his defence counsel before the said court.
Delivering his ruling, the presiding magistrate told the court that the accused, Lamin Waa Juwara, was charged on a single count of “abuse of office”.
The particulars of offence were that sometime in 2012, at Sinchu Gidom in Kombo South District, West Coast Region, being an employee of the Gambia government as a Minister of Local Government and Regional Administration, he abused the authority of his office in a manner that is prejudicial to the Alkalo and the elders of Jambur village, by creating Sinchu Gidom as a village and appointing one Abubacarr Sillah as the Alkalo of the said Sinchu Gidom, knowing that Sinchu Gidom is a kabilo within Jambur village.
He said the accused person was arraigned before the court on 25 September 2014 and he pleaded not guilty to the charge alleged.
To discharge the burden of proof required in the case, the prosecution called seven witnesses and tendered exhibits, the magistrate said.
Upon the close of the prosecution’s case, the accused made a no-case-to-answer submission and addressed the court orally and the prosecution replied to the no-case submission.
“I have examined all the evidence. All the exhibits tendered by the prosecution,” the magistrate said.
He added that the prosecution alleged in the particulars of offence that the accused, as the then Minister of Local Government and Regional Administration, created Sinchu Gidom as a village and appointed one Abubacarr Sillah as the Alkalo of Sinchu Gidom.
He said the 5th prosecution witness, Mustapha Touray, who was the then Chief of Kombo South in 2012, admitted under cross-examination that Sinchu Gidom is a village and needed an Alkalo.
The 6th prosecution witness, Lamin Sanneh, who was the then Governor of West Coast Region, admitted under cross-examination that Sinchu Gidom is a village in existence.
PW7, Momodou Jallow testified under oath and gave a brief history of Sichu Gidom and narrated before the court that Sinchu Gidom is a village created by his father, Gidom Jallow, who is still alive.