By Louise Jobe & Isatou Kanyi
Residents of Yarambamba Layout have made demands to the Sheriff Division to give them a copy of the judgment of the high court they want to execute and to explain how Dodou Saho of the Saho Kunda Family became the rightful owner of their properties.
Yarambamba is an Estate very close to the Banjul International Airport, Yundum. According to the affected dwellers, over 500 are affected compounds by the notice issued by the Sherrif Division.
The residents, in their interview with Foroyaa, said they were surprised with the notice they were served by the Sherriff Division because they were not aware of any litigation with regard to their plots. These people were served with two notices by the Sheriff Division to vacate the areas they are occupying on or before the 27th February 2020 or else they will be forcefully evicted from their residences.
Mr Alhagie Kinteh, a resident at the affected area said he got his land in 2009 from the Alkalo of New Yundum. He added that he has processed and acquired all documents to prove ownership of his plot from the Departments of Physical Planning as well as Lands and Survey.
Kinteh told Foroyaa that he has spent over a million dalasis in the construction of his house. He said he has been a resident of Yarambamba for over a decade and no one has claimed the title over his land.
Kinteh informed Foroyaa that the first eviction notice they received was issued on the 10th October 2019 with the information that the area they are occupying belongs to one Dodou Saho. He said in that notice they were asked to vacate their residence or else they will be forcefully evicted.
“We demanded the sheriff division to give us proof of how Dodou Saho became the rightful owner of our properties ” Kinteh said.
Modou Cham, a communal leader in the Layout told Foroyaa that in the years 2013 and 2014 one Buba Ceesay, a onetime branch manager of the Department of Physical Planning in Brikama and one Pa Bojang were the sales clerk on behalf of the Saho Kunda family. He said when the residents of the Layout challenged the notice from the Sheriff Division, Mr Ceesay was moved from the Brikama Branch to the Farafenni Physical Planning Branch.
According to Cham, Dodou Saho is not alive but one Momodou Saho is pretending and using Dodou’s name.
He said they are waiting for the 27th February 2020 because they won’t allow any execution to be carried out.
“We are ready to die. We will protect our properties,” Cham said, adding that “we the natives of Yarambamba are ready for anything that comes our way but we will not let this go like that.”
Alagie Sarr, a resident said if the situation is not properly handled it can be catastrophic which at the end can destabilize the country as he called on the Government to take steps to resolve the matter.
Sarr said all the affected areas have their legal documents including their leasehold documents and therefore, they won’t allow any execution to be carried out by the Sheriff’s Division.
Sarr said the Saho Kunda family cannot claim ownership of the area now because they have been silent for so many years when the area was empty and people began buying and developing the area.
“It is very late to claim ownership when over five hundred compounds have been developed,” Sarr said.
Foroyaa has approached the Sheriff Division for comment, but they declined from making any comments with regard to the issue. The Judicial Secretary was also approached, but he also refused to grant an interview. Foroyaa is monitoring the situation and will keep the public informed.