By Isatou Kanyi & Louise Jobe
The Sherriff’s Division of the High Court of the Gambia has given final notice to over five hundred yard owners and households at ‘Yarambamba’ Estate, to vacate their premises with immediate effect or risk forceful eviction after the 27th of February 2020.
According to residents and yard owners at the above named Estate, they received their first notice to vacate their premises on the 10th of October 2019 and a final one was sent to them on the 6th February 2020; that the final notice came with a deadline which is the 27th of February 2020.
According to the two notices which this reporter was privileged to set eyes on, and all of which came from the Office of the Sherriff Division, the land area of the said Estate belongs to one Dodou Saho. The said land dispute was a matter at the High Court between Pap Salieu Gaye and Dodou Saho, and Saho was declared owner of the said landed properties.
Yarambamba is an Estate close to the Banjul International Airport and several people live at the said Estate where expensive structures such as storey buildings have been constructed.
In reaction to the two notices from the Sheriff’s Division for them to vacate their premises, the ‘Yarambamba’ Estate Community Development Group said some of the yard owners have lived in the area for over a decade; that during this period, they were never served with an injunction to stop developing their plots of lands within the area until recently, when majority of yard owners finished constructing their houses and started to live peacefully with their families on the plots they own and call their home.
According to the Estate’s Community Group, almost all the yard owners at the ‘Yarambamba’, bought their plots from one Dodou Saho of Saho Kunda and Salieu Gaye; that both are relatives at Saho Kunda. The Estate’s Community Group said yard owners also have their title deeds and required documents which include leasehold titles, from the Ministry of Local Government and Lands and the Brikama Area Council.
The Estate’s Community Group further told this reporter that yard owners were never subpoenaed to appear in Court or issued with an injunction to stop the construction on their plots; that yard owners also wrote to the Sherriff Division to ask why they were never informed about the case from the beginning. They further claim that they have never been a party to any case regarding their landed properties and were never served with any injunction during the development of their plots at the Estate, to stop. The Estate’s Community Group said the yard owners at ‘Yarambamba’ Estate have their title deeds, lease documents and receipts of payment of their rates including other relevant documents, to prove legal and lawful ownership of their landed properties. The Estate’s Community Group said they have also written to the National Assembly Select Committee on Local Government and Lands by calling on the Lawmakers to intervene and address the issue with urgency