By Lamin Fatty
The regional group tribunal presided over by the seven District Chiefs of the Upper River Region (URR), have ordered one Ba Yoro Camara from Baja Kunda village, to vacate from the residence he has been dwelling in for the past fifteen years. The URR District Chiefs gave the order during their sitting on Thursday 17th June 2021 in Bantunding village in Wuli East.
This particular case was sent by Justice Landing M. Sanneh of the Basse High Court to the Regional Group tribunal for re-trial, and the case has been ongoing between the Bajaha family and Ba Yoro Camara, both residents of Baja Kunda, regarding the land where Ba Yoro Camara has resided with his family for fifteen years.
The case which was appealed against before the Basse High Court, was returned to the Regional Group tribunal for re-trial after a decision of the Wuli East District Tribunal was made against Ba Yoro Camara. This was presided over by the Chief of Wuli East Alhagie Ebrima Sorry Juwara on 3rd January 2019. He was the first to order for Ba Yoro Camara’s vacation from the said land.
The appellant Ba Yoro Camara, through his Counsel, filed a notice of appeal dated 22nd January 2019, containing four grounds of appeal.
Ground 1 state that the tribunal erred in law and fact when it declared the respondent as the rightful owner of the suit land, even though the respondent has failed to prove his title to it;
Ground 2 state that the tribunal erred in law when it failed to allow the appellant to complete his evidence and gave judgment in disregard of the appellant’s right to fair hearing;
Ground 3 state that the tribunal erred in law when it failed to properly evaluate the evidence before it, and
Ground 4 indicates that the judgment is against the weight of evidence.
After all the proceedings before the Court and testimonies, Justice Landing M. Sanneh who was the trial judge, gave his judgment and conclusion on the matter on 26th April 2021, as follows:
“Having resolved the issues in this appeal as stated above, it is my conclusion that the appeal has merits and succeeds accordingly,
1. The judgment of the Wulli East District tribunal delivered on 3rd January 2019 is hereby set aside;
2. The suit is hereby sent back for re-trial before the group tribunal;
3. All parties are ordered to maintain the status quo ante bellum, and
4 Each party shall bear their respective cost of this appeal.
And parties were reminded by Justice Sanneh of their right of appeal to the Gambia Court of Appeal.
In the light of the above, on Thursday 17th June 2021, the Regional Group tribunal sat over the matter and gave their verdict against the appellant, Ba Yoro Camara by ordering him to vacate from his home within three months.
After the verdict of the Regional Group tribunal was made against him, Ba Yoro Camara told this medium that he did not accept the decision of the Regional Group tribunal and said their decision was as a result of the ongoing caste issue within the community of Baja Kunda.
“The moment I mentioned that I am no longer a slave for anyone and declared my allegiance to ‘Ganbanaaxun’, that was the time the Bajaha family said I must vacate from my home, because the land where I have lived with my family for more than fifteen year, belongs to them. They gave me the option that I most accept to continue being their slave or I vacate from my compound because the land belongs to them,” he told this reporter.