Residents Deya Village have been ordered to vacate their homes by the high court of The Gambia or face forceful eviction. The villagers say they have been living there for more than fifty years.
According to the writ of possession, Gibba Jabang and his brothers (on behalf of Sanyang Lang Bentou family) of Sanyang Jabang Kunda have “been given full and final possession of the empty plot of land” indicated on a sketch plan.
Upon visiting Deya village located in Kombo South between Sanyang and Taibatau West Coast Region on Tuesday 11th February, 2019 this reporter found that what is referred to as empty plot includes the village.
The reporter spoke to some of the affected residents who explained that the whole community have been served with eviction notices from the Sheriff’s office to vacate their compound before Tuesday 25th February 2019.
Below is the text of the notice dated 31st January 2019.
“I write to inform you that the property you are currently occupying at Kombo Sanyang village is rightfully owned by Gibba Jabang and brothers on behalf of Lang Bentou family) of Sanyang village pursuant to a ruling delivered by Hon. Justice Z. Jawara Alime of High Court on the 14th day of November 2018, since it is located within the plot of land as shown on the sketch plan attached.
“To this end all of you are by this letter warned to vacate from the said property before Tuesday 25th February 2019 failure to adhere to this notice will lead to your forcefully eviction from the said property.
“For any further enquiries please contact the office of the Honourable Sheriff. Fax.. 4222486: Tel: 3360133
“I look forward to cooperation.”
A dangerous situation seems to be simmering because the Deya residents told this reporter that they will not vacate the disputed land and are ready for whatever may happen. They argue that they have nowhere to go.
According to them the decision made by the district tribunal in November 2016 was without their knowledge and that they could not have possibly appealed against it within the time required by the law.
The villagers were also displeased with the delay in being served with any court document. One of the villagers said, “We received this letter on Monday 11th February, why did they keep it from the date 31st January 2019?”
An attempt to reach the Sheriff through the number given in notice proved unsuccessful. Further attempts to reach him to get his comments will be made before the next edition.