By Yankuba Jallow
The people of Kerr Mot Hali, Upper Saloum District, are seeking justice from the Government of the Gambia in executing the judgment of the Banjul High Court that went in their favour.
The High Court ordered that they be allowed to return to the land from which the entire villagers were forced out from but the court order is yet to be executed.
Since October 2017, the Judgment is yet to be enforced after all due procedures were followed.
Speaking to Foroyaa, one Yunusa Ceesay, on behalf of the community, said they were forced out of their village land and have since been lodged in a neighbouring village in Senegal since 2009. He said after the judgment was delivered in October 2017, the people have been desperate to return to their community but they are always confronted with major challenges in the enforcement of the judgment.
“We have the judgment in our favour, in addition to the writ of possession issued to us by the court,” said Ceesay. But the Sheriff of the High Court is constrained in facilitating the repossession of our land. Mr Ceesay explained in detail how they have been moving up and down to the police, civil litigation department at the Attorney General’s Chambers, and have petitioned the President but the requisite support that the Government should provide to the Sheriff is unavailable; rather they have been witnessing obstacles.
“This is where the problem lies and we are desperate to return to our land that we were forcefully uprooted from and sent into exile by the authorities. We instituted a case and we were successful in a bid to regain what is rightfully ours. Why is the Court’s order not respected by the authorities?” he asked.
The people from the community had brought an action before Justice Aminata Ceesay-Saho of the Banjul High Court seeking for a declaration that they are all citizens of the Gambia who have right over their properties and have a right to return to the country because they have been deprived their right over their properties in the village.
These people fled to a neighbouring village in Senegal when they were confronted by policemen who arrested many of them and jailed many as well. The applicants on their claim fled from their village since 2009 and have been making efforts to return to the village but say that they were told by the police not to do so.