High Court reportedly issued eviction notices to over 950 property owners in Farato

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One of the property owners who was asked to evict

By: Kebba Ansu Manneh

The Sheriff of the High Court of The Gambia has issued eviction notices to over nine hundred fifty (950) landlords and property owners in Farato, requiring them to vacate their properties voluntarily by no later than June 13, 2024.

In a letter to property owners who purchased land from Manor Properties, a local real estate agency, the Honorable Sheriff of the High Court, Omar Jabang, has notified the affected individuals that they must vacate the premises they occupy, as these have been repossessed and now belong to the people of Bafuloto.

“I write to inform you that the property you are currently occupying between Bafuloto and Sotokoi Daru, bordered by a blue line in the sketch plan, is adjudged to be owned by Alkalo Manku Saidy (For himself and on behalf of the villagers of Bafuloto whose names appears on the statement of claim) and others. To this end, all of you, by this letter, are warned to vacate from the said property on or before Thursday 13th day of June 2024,” Hon. Sheriff of High Court Omar Jabang, writes.

The sheriff warns, “Failure to adhere to this notice will lead to your forceful eviction of said property.”

Several landlords who purchased their properties from Manor Properties have expressed alarm regarding the eviction notices. They reveal that their acquisitions were made legally with their hard-earned funds and that eviction would result in homelessness for them and their families.

The concerned citizens have urged the appropriate state authorities, such as the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning, to take swift action to control the situation before it escalates. They highlighted that many impacted landowners have built substantial structures, including multi-story and self-contained buildings, on the plots they inhabit with their families. They warned that any forceful eviction could result in conflict.

“Right now, we are very concerned and hopeless regarding the eviction notice as most of us (property owners) are family men and women who invested everything we have in these properties, and evicting us will only send us to homelessness. We have engaged Mr. Pa Samba Camara. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Manor Properties, whom we bought our properties from, but the answer we are getting is not satisfactory,” Muhammad Kandeh disclosed to TAT.

He added: “I bought by compound for D200,000 from Manor Properties, who gave me all my documents before I started construction. Right now, all the resources I gathered over the years I spent on this compound and evicting me will cause great damage for me and my family.”

Another impacted landowner, Abdoulie Jarju, shared a comparable view on the eviction, observing that at least nine hundred and eighty compounds received eviction notices, most of which belong to industrious young Gambians who have invested all they possess in their properties.

He stated that the impacted landlords and property owners have attempted to resolve the issue peacefully with both Manor Properties and the Bafuloto community without success. Despite assurances from Manor Properties that the situation would be resolved, the Bafuloto residents insist on payment for the properties they have already purchased from Manor Properties.

“We are calling on the relevant Government authorities to come to our aid to solve this matter. Failure to solve this matter will only heighten our problem as breadwinners who have spent hundreds of thousands of dalasis to secure compounds for ourselves and our families,” Abdoulie Jarju told TAT.

Pa Samba Camara, the CEO of Manor Properties, has confirmed that eviction notices have been issued to property owners within the Sam City Estate. He indicated that the property acquisition was legal, having been obtained from the people of Farato, who have been cleared by every high court that issued the eviction notice.

” I can assure you that this matter will be addressed soon, and I want to also assure property owners that before Friday, this whole issue will be cleared. It is the same High Court that ruled in favor of the people of Farato from whom I bought this estate, so it’s very funny to see the same High Court issuing eviction notices to my clients,” Pa Samba Camara told TAT.

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