EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Chief of Nianija District in Central River Region (CRR) has convicted and sentenced three men after they were found guilty by the Tribunal on charge of unlawful felling of trees.
Dawda York sentenced and charged Demba Cham of Chamen Nianija to pay a fine of 8000 dalasis for felling a big tree and selling it without a permit. He ruled that Mr Cham will serve three months imprisonment if he default to pay the fine.
He also sentenced and charged Abdoulie Jallow of Upper Niumi to pay a fine of 10, 000 dalasis in default to serve three months imprisonment for using a heavy machine to cut trees in Nianija without a permit. The Tribunal also sized and handed over the machine to the forestry department.
The third convict Gibi Lareh Cham, who is the Alkalo of Chamen Nianija is also convicted and charged to pay a fine of four thousand dalasis for failure to stop his villager from cutting trees and failure to report such things to concern authorities. The Tribunal ruled that if Mr Cham fails to pay the fine, he will serve three months imprisonment and was warned to change or be dismissed.
Chief Dawda York has been one of the most uncompromising chiefs when it comes to unlawful cutting down of trees. He has been emphasising the danger of felling trees and the importance of reserving the forest.
After handing down his judgement, Mr York renewed his uncompromising stance in applying the wrath of the law on anyone found guilty of unlawful exploitation of the forest cover.
He warned Alkalos to distance themselves from the illegal act and advised them to protect the forest so that the next generation will not suffer.
Assistant regional forestry officer of CRR-North, Lamin Saidy Bah and the forestry officer at Bakadaji, Kemo Kinteh both thanked the chief for helping the government in the protection of the forest. They also advise the people to distance themselves from illegally exploiting the forest or the forestry law will be used against them.