Nianija Chief Embroiled in Legal Dispute Over Sale of Family Land

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Dawda York, Chief of Nianija

By: Kebba Ansu Manneh

Dawda York, Chief of Nianija, has been incriminated in a civil suit between Abdul Fatou Bah and his biological father, Samba Bah, aka Samba Kayai, over the sale of his landed property situated at Kayai Village, Nianija District, Central River Region of the country.

Witnesses who adduced evidence before Magistrate Musa Fofana of the Kuntaur Magistrate Court disclosed that Abdul Fatou Bah (son) purchased the land sometime in 2011. He built a mud house in the compound where he has lived with his family for ten years.

They also collaborated that Abdul Fatou Bah and his family decided to abandon the compound immediately after the beginning of the ongoing road construction in the region, adducing that the Bah family is now residing at Brikamaba with the hope that he can come back immediately after the road construction to build his compound.

Testifying before the Kuntaur Magistrate Court on Wednesday, 6 March 2024, Fatoumatta Bah, the wife of the plaintiff, recalled that sometime around the end of the rainy season, they (she and her husband) received information that Samba Kayai Bah, who is a father to the Abdul Bah has sold their compound to one Abdoulie Leign, adding that a few weeks later she found workers at the compound doing clearing work to begin construction work at the said plot of land.

“When I saw workers at the compound, I contacted my husband, who resides in Brikamaba, to notify him of the ongoing activities. I told him I would report the matter to Chief Dawda York, which he consented to as a means to stop the ongoing work started by Abdoulie Leigh, who bought the land from Pa Samba Bah,” Fatoumatta Bah adduced before Magistrate Musa Fofana.

She added: “I called Chief Dawda York and explained to him all the matter; he told me Pa Samba could not sell the land because it didn’t belong to him and promised to call Abdoulie Leigh not to pay any dime to Pa Samba or if he paid let him go and get his money and leave the land. However, to our surprise, this didn’t happen as Abdoulie Leigh continued his work, prompting us to go back to the Chief to resolve our complaint, but this time, Chief Dawda York changed his mind, telling us to forget the land and look for somewhere else to build our compound.”

According to her, Chief Dawda York threatened her and her husband, Abdul Fatou Bah, not to return to his compound for the same matter as he had already told them what to do. She added that the Chief of Nianija continued to urge them to go anywhere they liked and let them know that the business had already been finalized between the Alkalo Samba Kayai Bah and Abdoulie Leigh, and nothing would change the outcome.

“Chief Dawda York chased us away from his compound and urged us to proceed, promising nothing would come out of it. We have no power to challenge him, and we decided to come to the court to seek redress as the land legally belongs to my husband, who has been paying tax to the government for more than ten years,” Fatoumatta further adduced before the court.

In his ruling, Presiding Magistrate Musa Fofana sermonized Abdoulie Leigh, the buyer of the plot of land, to appear before the court on its next adjournment date, slated for 21 March 2024.

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