Friday, December 3, 2021

‘Former Principal Paid Money For School Land’ Witness Told Court


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By Nelson Manneh

Fansu Jatta, second defence witness (DW2) in the ongoing criminal trial of former principal of Model School in Busumbala, yesterday told the Court that the former Principal Isaac Ague, paid a sum of D600,000 for the School land. Mr Ague is on trial at the Brikama Magistrates’ Couirt charged with giving false information to a public servant.

The witness told the Court that he is the secretary general of Busumballa Village Development Committee (VDC).

When the case was called before Magistrate Penda Sowe of the Brikama Magistrate Courts, Sergeant 3533 B Jarju appeared for the Inspector General of Police (IGP), whilst Isaac Ague appeared in person as the accused.

Testifying before the Court, Jatta said one Mr. Cole, told them that he operates a School in Brikama called Model Senior Secondary School; that they were facing challenges of not paying rent, and were threatened by the Ministry of Education to secure a land of his own for the School to continue; that after engaging the villagers about the land in the year 2000, the village agreed to allocate him land, to build a School; that Cole was asked to come back to the village to fulfil the modalities; that the Alkalo of Busumballa told him (the witness), to write a letter immediately, to inform the Ministry of Education that Cole has acquired a land for the School; but that in the letter, it was indicated that the agreement is subjected to the MOU between Cole and the Villagers.

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Jatta stated that as soon as Cole acquired the documents that the village provided for him to show to the Ministry, he never returned to the village to pay for the land or develop it; that when Cole left, there was no development on the land allocated for the School.

“There is one Mr. Isaac Ague who came, and was introduced to us as the former Principal of Model School,” he said; that Ague was asked to introduce himself which he did and told them that he needs land to build a School.

“Some of us told him that we are tired of hearing stories. We told him that one Cole came to us and told us the same story but never implemented it. We need someone who is serious,” the witness said. Isaac Ague gave them the assurance that he is a different person; that he will start the development as soon as they agreed; that they (the VDC) were given the mandate to do the negotiation with Ague, which they initially wanted in the form of a partnership; that they will provide the land and he will do the necessary development.

“Mr. Isaac told us that the partnership may not work and he preferred to buy the land and develop it. We met with Mr. Isaac on several occasions and later agree to sell the land to him. We agreed that he should pay a total sum of six hundred thousand dalasi,” he said.

He said Ague paid by installment and the receipts were issued to him bearing his name (Mr. Isaac Ague); that he paid everything to them but does not know where he acquired the money, and started developing the land as he promised.

“We have not seen Cole since the day we provided him with the urgent letter to show to the Ministry of Education,” he said; that later, the accused person (Mr. Isaac), went to his home and informed him that one Mrs. Cole is clamming ownership of the School; that they (the VDC) then called a meeting to inform everybody about this.

The matter case is adjourned to the 25th of September 2018, for the continuation of hearing.

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