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 Land! land! land!

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
toubab1020 Posted - 10 Nov 2011 : 15:00:14
All very true, what will happen about this? I will tell you,NOTHING ,why ?TOO MANY BIG PEOPLE ARE INVOLVED,
who are they? I have no idea,to me it appears so obvious,if there was no problem in finding who is behind rip off schemes the problem would have been solved long, long ago.Will anyone on bantaba in cyberspace add input to what I have written,I doubt it,why? because they may have been ripped off themselves and want to save face,or they know so much about who is involved in this scandal that they dare not write about it.Cynical, you bet.

Land! land! land!
africa » gambia
Wednesday, November 09, 2011

It was not long ago when we stated on these pages that the number of issues pertaining to land in The Gambia is growing day by day.

We have poor coordination, false possession, and people charging high prices for what does not belong to them, to name but a few problems.

One thing that must be understood is that the physical land of The Gambia is for all of us, but possession of land has been beset with problems in recent times.

The next question that must be asked is - who to blame?

Do we lay the blame at the doors of alkalos, surveyors, or the relevant government institutions such as the Department of Physical Planning and the Department of Lands and Surveys?

Whoever is to blame for the problems related to land, the reality is that genuine people who wish to invest their hard-earned money in a piece of property, are increasingly afraid to risk getting involved in land deals.

It is hard to blame them. If you have worked hard and saved money diligently, the last thing you want is for that money to be lost in a dubious land deal.

Unfortunately, the issue of land is becoming a problem in many parts of Africa, so we in Gambia are not alone in our plight.

This said, we should waste no time in addressing the problem. Land in The Gambia now is a burning issue, and people need help, as they are suffering.

We hear of demolitions with time ebbing away in the run up to the rains. What are people to do? If they receive a small compensation, they cannot afford to buy a new house. If they have to build from scratch, they will find themselves and their families without a roof over their heads when the rainy season strikes. We cannot allow this to happen to any of our people.

The Government should make laws and introduce regulations that would ensure this kind of thing does not happen. If there is proper legislation introduced which covers every possible eventuality, it will ensure that no loophole exists to be exploited by anybody.

Along with this action, victims of demolitions must be compensated fully and relocated. Time is running out and the situation is worsening. If swift action is not taken, this terrible trend will worsen before it gets better.

Also prospective investors in land need to remind themselves of the importance of obtaining reliable confirmation and transfer documents from alkalos, and proper advice and guidance from lawyers.

Meanwhile, the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) should take another look at its policies, and make land affordable to public servants, the majority of whom cannot afford D100,000 for an empty plot of land, and the further cost of developing the land.

For example, it may be easier for SSHFC to construct houses and then pass them to owner-occupiers on mortgage, as obtains in other countries.

“Men sooner forget the death of their fathers than the loss of their possessions.”

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
toubab1020 Posted - 05 Mar 2018 : 16:11:02
Ahhhhhhhhh.............Foroyaa has now joined to ask a very important question !!!


According to section 192 of the Constitution,

“There shall be established a Land Commission whose composition, functions and powers shall be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.”

It is therefore important for the state to make the settlement of land dispute a major priority by doing everything necessity to put the Land Commission, a constitutional requirement which was ignored by the former regime, into operation to provide guidance and remedies to ensure effective and efficient measures to settle land disputes.
toubab1020 Posted - 28 Feb 2018 : 16:15:36
Still ongoing,It really is about time that this "problem" is resolved by ACTION which is enforcable by a plain and simple leglislation that can be taken by those who are agreeved.Again this comes back to the world "development" that MONEY is the most important thing in life .

GTBoard to prosecute people selling TDA properties
africa » gambia » Show Map
Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Gambia Tourism Board has threatened to prosecute people that are clearing the Brufut Heights area and other parts of the Tourism Development Areas (TDA) for sale.

In a media dispatch sent to The Point, the GTBoard stated that the TDA is a reserve zone for tourism development purposes. The West Coast TDA comprises of the coastal stretch from Kotu Bridge to Kartong measuring 800 meters inland, from the High Water Mark.

The released added that it was leased to Central Government in 1969 by the Kombo North District Authority for a period of 51 years and was subsequently extended to 99 years by the State Lands Act of 1991. Currently, the lease (SR NO K226/2015) is under the custody of the GTBoard as per the GTBoard Act 2011.

The release further stated that it has come to the attention of the GTBoard that people are illegally selling landed properties in the TDA, notably Brufut Heights, Tanji, Batokunku, Tujereng, Sanyang, Medina Salam, and Kartong. The general public is hereby advised that this contravenes the abovementioned act thus making the acquisition of land in the TDA through such means illegal.
Author: Momodou Jawo

HERE is the Standard newspaper on this subject:
toubab1020 Posted - 10 Feb 2018 : 23:55:20

DEAR READER,you may also like to READ the topic below:

A Respected SYSTEM is already available to Arbitrate and make a legally binding decision of this Land "problem" best of all it would be respected by LOCAL people without any FINANCIAL burden to the Central Government and having to form a NEW Ministry and associated staffing levels,Any Opinions........? or better still POSTS from Readers.


toubab1020 Posted - 10 Feb 2018 : 15:47:25
It is now 2018 !! Rumbling on since 2011...WHY? one could ask......ANY READER, want to POST and tell us ALL ?.........

"...............The Chief Justice should hold seminars with those who preside over District Tribunals on how to handle land cases. Foroyaa has witnessed many deliberations and decisions do not appear to be always uniform. This is due to the fact that precedents are not well established and conveyed to the adjudicators to enable them to be systematic in the dispensation of justice."



The land tenure system in The Gambia requires careful review if we are going to avert confrontation between families. The Chief Justice should hold seminars with those who preside over District Tribunals on how to handle land cases. Foroyaa has witnessed many deliberations and decisions do not appear to be always uniform. This is due to the fact that precedents are not well established and conveyed to the adjudicators to enable them to be systematic in the dispensation of justice.

One principle that has been established is being a first settler on a land. This concept of first settler is often used in a loose manner because of the fact that other families do come to join the first settler family. When they do, the first settler family would ask the new comers to go to areas where there is thick bush so that they would clear the land and establish their own frontiers of settlement. This is why the second principle was established that a family that first clears a thick bush as a result of the permission of their host would become owners of the land cleared.

Population growth has now given rise to the habitation of many families on land that the original settlers ceded to new settlers. However as the original settlers experienced land shortage, they are tempted to make claims that the land cleared by the new settlers belongs to them. This is creating many conflicts which need proper handling if it is to be prevented from creating endless tensions in the community.
toubab1020 Posted - 09 Oct 2017 : 11:27:43
Here again this subject raises its ugly head,but the new administration have brought the matter before the courts,almost 3 years ago,there is so much investigative work to be done in order to expose the wrongdoings of the past,once again Foroyaa has highlighted this trial.


State Prosecutes 3 People on 7 Criminal Counts
EditorOctober 7, 2017

By Yankuba Jallow

Banta Jaiteh, Bakary Bojang and Ensa Badjie, are facing 7 criminal charges on land dealings, belonging to Ensa Jesus Jatta, the former Inspector General of Police.

The matter is before Principal Magistrate, Isatou Janneh-Njie of Banjul Magistrates Court and the state prosecutor is L. Jarju whilst the defendants’ counsel is lawyer Pa harry Jammeh.

The three are accused of wilfully procuring and transferring land belonging to Ensa Jesus Jatta, the former Inspector General Police of the Gambia without authority.

The three accused persons on count 1 are charged with conspiracy to defraud contrary to section 292 of the criminal code. It is alleged that the three sometime in the year 2014 conspired among themselves to extort plot No. 66 at Old Yundum belonging to Ensa Jesus Badjie and sold it to one Kutubo Ceesay. The trio is also charged on count 2 with obtaining goods by false pretence contrary to section 288 of the criminal code. The three accused persons are accused of defrauding and obtaining the sum of two hundred thousand dalasis (D200,000) from one Kutubo Ceesay, for the sale of Plot No 66 knowing that the said plot No. 66 at Old Yundum belongs to Ensa Jesus Badjie.

On count 4, they are charged with Forgery contrary to Section 322 of the criminal code. They are charged with intent to defraud and forged the registration of deed of assignment registered on 11th June, 2014 with serial registration no. 394/2014 Vol. KD to falsely transfer of title of plot No. 66 at Old Yundum belonging to one Ensa Jesus Jatta to one Kutubo Ceesay.

Further, they are charged with obtaining registration by false pretense contrary to section 295 of the Criminal Code.
toubab1020 Posted - 14 Feb 2015 : 04:00:33
This started in 2004 !!
toubab1020 Posted - 01 Feb 2015 : 21:37:04
Readers and posters of Bantaba in cyberspace may like to refresh their memories by reading my posting of 15 th December 2014 above

Momodou Posted - 01 Feb 2015 : 16:33:34

Foroyaa Editorial: Published on EditorJanuary 30, 2015

Section 192 of the Constitution establishes a Land Commission and ordered the National Assembly to come up with an Act to guide its functions.

Special Commissions are established to decongest courts. Foroyaa wants to know why the Land Commission has still not taken over most Land disputes with the view to settle them.

Over the years, over half a million people have moved to the Kanifing administrative area and the West Coast Region. Many traditional land owners have sold their traditional holdings to people who do not hesitate to lease the properties. Many sold their properties at a time when few knew the value of landed property. In some cases only few family members gain benefits. This gave rise to family feuds and attempts by deprived family members to resell what has been sold by other family members.

Foroyaa will contact the Ministry for Regional Administration to find out how far the efforts have gone to put the Land Commission into full operation after the promulgation of the Act.

Source: Foroyaa
Momodou Posted - 19 Jan 2015 : 13:03:11
German national expelled from Gambia

The Point: Published on Monday, January 19, 2015

Diplomatic sources have confirmed to The Point the deportation on Friday of Bern George Diedrich, a German national, who was living in The Gambia for several years.
The sources added that Mr Diedrich went to the German consulate in Banjul on Thursday to explain that he was informed by authorities to leave The Gambia on Friday 16 January 2015.

He also told the consulate that no official reason was given to him for his expulsion.

It would be noted that Mr Diedrich and his Gambian friend, Alieu Barry, were evicted last month from a compound whose matter was under litigation with a high court ruling in his favour.

When this paper contacted the Immigration Department to shed more light on the issue, the public relations officer, Seydou Bah, said: “The Director General of Immigration has the mandate to expel anybody out of the country who is subject to a deportation order.

“For the German’s expulsion, I don’t have the specifics of the investigation which determined the reason for his deportation. Therefore, I am not going to speculate about that.”

Source:The Point
toubab1020 Posted - 09 Jan 2015 : 01:24:37
It is now 2015,the first posting here was 2011 and still "problems" have yet to be resolved.


In a meeting with members of the Alkalolou Association of Kombo East District (AAKED) at her Brikama office recently, the only female governor urged village heads to be cautious in handling matters relating to land allocation, something she said, has led to numerous land conflicts in the region.
“We must not use our lands for commercial purposes”, he insisted. “Land can be used for many development purposes; it should not therefore be abused for selfish interest. It should be handled with care for future development”.
"The governor said arresting the ugly head of land dispute is a priority for her office, saying its unabated nature has affected several communities and landed many people to imprisonment.
Hydara also warned against fraudulent activities like issuing documents for double or triple ownership of a piece of land, warning that such practices are unlawful."
toubab1020 Posted - 15 Dec 2014 : 18:07:11
"They, therefore, decided to get this message published through The Point."

It is most evident as laid out in this letter published by the Point (doing good work and reporting of news once again ! ) by the GERMAN national Bernd G. Diedrich and Alieu Barry, in my opinion "Business" has been at work here and Land issues are still not transparent it would be a very good deed by H.E. if he would consider issuing guidance to ensure that at all levels in the Gambia land dealings are respected and confusion is eliminated,this letter outlines an unsatisfactory state of affairs in regard to land transactions that exist even today after H.E. has tried his utmost to ensure that land dealings are fair and transparent,he must be disappointed that his ideas do not seem to have been implemented and respected.

=================================================================================================== Monday, December 15, 2014
Bernd G. Diedrich, a German national, who together with his Gambian partner Alieu Barry, is engulfed in a land ownership dispute with some people in Bijilo that has led to the involvement of some authorities in the corridors of power, is desperately seeking the intervention of President Yahya Jammeh, to bring the matter to a just conclusion and end result.

Mr Diedrich and Mr Barry visited the Offices of The Point newspaper at the weekend, and said they have tried all avenues to solve the problem justly and would like President Jammeh to know about their situation in order for truth and justice to reign supreme.

They, therefore, decided to get this message published through The Point.

The following is the letter of Mr Diedrich and Alieu Barry:

My name is Bernd Georg Diedrich, I am a German national. I have been coming to The Gambia since 1989. In 1991, I bought a piece of land in Bijilo, Kombo North, for investment purposes, because I love The Gambia. I got the lease for my land in 1996, bearing Serial No.: P51/1996. Attachment No. 1.

I erected a perimeter fence around the whole land. This work was carried out and supervised by my Gambian partner, Alieu Barry, who has a share in the land. Since 1996 I borrowed my land to one Bijilo resident, Mr Ousman Jallow, to farm there. My Gambian partner Mr Barry renewed this permission every year.

In 2005 when I returned to The Gambia to implement my investment plan with Mr Barry, I found that my land was encroached. The Alkalo of Bijilo, Yankuba Jatta, who had signed all my documents, had sold my land again to several Real Estate Agents. I took legal action against the encroachers under the Civil Law of the country, which took almost seven years before I got judgment in my favour on the 2.10.2012: Attachment No.2.

On the 8th October 2012 I got my writ of possession. Attachment No. 3. On the 9th October 2012 eviction was carried out by the Sheriff Department and my land was returned to me. Only 3 families were evicted at that time.

On the 2nd February 2013 I and my Gambian partner Alieu Barry were subject to an illegal arrest in the presence of one encroacher, Mr Sowe. We were detained and remanded in Mile 2 by the then Minister of Justice Lamin Jobarteh in connection with my land in Bijilo. After our arrest Mr Jobarteh asked some of the encroachers to go back to my land which was returned to me by Writ of Law. The encroachers carried on their illegal activities to complete their houses, which they started building during our pending case at the Brikama High Court. Even an injunction given by the Court and a Police Intervention at that time did not top these people from building and completing their houses.

On the 14th August 2013, the encroachers, who were asked to go back to my land by Mr Jobarteh, were again evicted by the Sheriff Department and the land was returned to me again.

On the 1st August 2013 I applied for a change of use of my land at the Department of Physical Planning and Housing, based on an approval that had been previously given to third parties and based on the development of my property with approval and/or acquiescence of the Ministry of Lands. The Department of Physical Planning and Housing did not respond at all to my application. Attachment No. 4.

On the 7th Janaury 2014, I got a copy of a letter written from the Ministry Lands to the Director of Physical Planning regarding my application for change of use. Attachment No. 5.

The letter stated that the Ministry of Lands has no other option but to renter my property. My lawyer Ida Drammeh wrote on the 23rd January 2014 and 2nd June 2014 two letters addressed to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands, pointing out that the intention of the Ministry of Lands would amount to a Contempt of Court. Attachment No. 6 and 7. The Ministry did not respond to this letters to date.

On the 19th May 2014, I and my Gambian partner Alieu Barry were called to the Major Crime Unit in Banjul to give a statement about a Petition regarding “22 Gambian Families in a land dispute in Bijilo with a German National Bernd George Diedrich”. I and Mr Barry had no detailed knowledge of any Petition and we never had a dispute with a nay group of 22 Gambian families. My land had been had been divided into 22 plots by the encroachers, not at any time 22 Gambian families lived there. Attachment No. 8. Only three families were evicted on the 9th October 2012.

Four months later, on 30th November 2014, I received a letter from the Office of The President, signed by Noah Touray, inviting me for a meeting on the 6th October 2014 at 10 a.m. regarding that Petition of “22 Gambian Families “. The intention of the invitation was to “discuss and decide the way forward”. Attachment No. 9.

At that meeting, to which I went with Mr Alieu Barry, no discussion at all took place. I was told, that my Task Force had reached a decision and Mr Noah Touray emphasized that this decision has to be seen as a State Decision, which is final.They commented that they are going to compensate me for my 22,000 sqm land in Bijilo Tranquil with a 10,000 sqm agricultural plot in Jambur, next to the Nyambai Forest.Furthermore they stated that the encroachers, who had built their story buildings during the pending case at the Brikama High Court, will be called to compensate me with “a feasible amount” which will not reflect the actual market price of the land. It was said, that the encroachers have to pay these amounts directly to the Task Force. The money will be forwarded to me later. The remaining empty plots will be annexed to the State.

I disagreed with this decision and informed the Task Force that I have to contact my lawyer. During that meeting I was not provided with the Petition of the “22 Gambian families” and I was told that the Police Report is confidential.

On the 6th October 2014 I wrote a letter to His Excellency The President of The Republic of The Gambia to inform him about the illegal decision of the Task Force. Attachment No. 10.

On the 9th October 2014 I was called from the State House to come and collect a letter, which was signed by Noah Touray. Attachment No. 11. The letter indicated that I am mandated to vacate my land “as agreed upon on our meeting of the 6th October 2014” pending the finalization of the compensation procedures and I was informed that the Gambian Police will take over the security of my land.

On the 13th October 2014 I wrote a letter to the Secretary General at The Office of The President, to clarify that I did not agree at all to the compensation decision on the meeting on 6th October 2014 and that the Permanent Secretary Noah Touray and the whole Task Force are in Contempt of a Court Order with the decision imposed on me on that meeting. Attachment No. 12.

On Tuesday the 14th October 2014 a full truck of PIU officers, led by two police officers from the Major Crime Unit in Banjul vacated seven homeless familieswith alot of children, whom I gave givenshelteron my landin the structures leftby the encroachersfor security reason.The officers demanded also the set of keys for two houses which were given to me by the Sheriff Department. After the completion of the vacation of the homeless families, the two police officers of the Major Crime Unit informed us, that they are not going to vacate us until the compensation issue is finalized.

All these actions, decisions and conclusions were made without any agreement

Furthermore there is an outstandingCourt of Appeal Ruling regarding one of the defendants a Dutch National, Andre Sape van Klaabergen.

Since then the PIU officers are mounting security in my land.

On the 17th October 2014 I received a telephone call from one police officer of the Major Crime Unit requesting me to vacate my land. I asked the officer for what reason and emphasized that he can only evict me from my land with a Court Order.

On the 20th October my lawyer Ida Drammeh wrote a letter to the Attorney General regarding the meeting with the Task Force at the State House on the 6th October 2014. Attachment No. 13.

On the 20th October I received another letter from the Department of Physical Planning and Housing, signed by Amadou A.S. Batchilly for Director, asking me to immediately vacate my land as agreed upon on the meeting of the 6th October 2014. Attachment No. 14. My lawyer Ida Drammeh responded to this letter on the 23rd October 2014 and there is as well no response to this letter to date. Attachment No. 15

We are waiting now almost two weeks for a response of the Authorities.

From my point of view the behaviour of the Members of the Task Force is demonstrating a blatantly disrespect for a constitutional element of this country, the judgment of a Superior Court.

I am desperate, confused and frustrated in the meantime after all I have gone through together with my partner Mr. Alieu Barry regarding my land in Bijilo. We were illegally detained, our passports were seized for six months and we then were asked to be witnesses for the State in the Jobarteh trial, which we just finished last month.

I am here in the country now for almost 2 years with immense costs in The Gambia and regarding my office in Germany which business is destroyed in the meantime and not to talk about the emotional challenge.

After waiting in vain for a response of the Authorities, I am seeking help from the Honourable President of this Great Nation, to solve this big problem.

Dear Mr President I very much need your just consideration you are always commended for nationally and internationally.


Bernd G. Diedrich and Alieu Barry
toubab1020 Posted - 05 Nov 2014 : 21:13:03
And now the politicians join in:

"The deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Regional Administration has spoken ........."
toubab1020 Posted - 05 Nov 2014 : 00:32:36
So a development here,interesting especially the SNIPPET from the full story, I wonder what implications that may have, will those who in the past speculated on land price increase and bought up vast numbers of plots hoping to sell them in the future at a vast profit catch a cold ?, will land prices now be more affordable to the average Gambian ? What is going to be the cost of a "permit" and associated surveys by the authority?,how will the costings be arrived at for a single compound or for a new "village type" ,or regional tourist area ,type of development.?
Personally I think that this announcement has been made without proper thought and consultation with the population of The Gambia,one thing is for certain if "the launch" does take place, MONEY and "FEES" will be involved,could this be another TAX? ... probably.

"Amadou S Batchilly, principal development control officer at the Department of Physical Planning, said institutions, organizations and people should apply for a development permit as enshrined in Lands Act to ensure proper assessment, before any construction takes place."
toubab1020 Posted - 09 Oct 2014 : 17:21:07

"Hearing continues. "
toubab1020 Posted - 13 Sep 2014 : 11:54:52

Three charged with conspiracy
africa » gambia
Friday, September 12, 2014

Modou Jammeh, Saikou Tambedou and Banta Jaiteh were recently arraigned and charged with obtaining money by false pretence, making documents without authority and making false documents, before Magistrate Omar Jabang of the Bundung Magistrates’ Court.

According to the particulars of offence, on 18 August 2014, at Brusubi Kombo North, West Coast Region, the three accused persons allegedly conspired among themselves to wit, make false documents without authority, and also obtained D816,000 from one Ebrima Jaiteh for a plot of land, with the knowledge that they have no land for sale.

All the accused persons denied the charge preferred against them and were each granted court bail of D890,000 with two Gambian sureties, one of whom must deposit his or her ID card and also deposit his or her title deed.

The IGP was represented by Sergeant 1883 Bajang.
Author: Malamin L.M. Conteh

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