By: Haruna Kuyateh
The Lower Nuimi District Tribunal Court recently fined seven people for illegal logging at Berending, Ndofan, and Bakindick forests and the case was presided over by Chief George L Sonko who doubles as the President of the tribunal, the sitting was held in Essau North Bank Region.
The district tribunal rule on a verdict and fined Omar Ceesay of Kerr Sait Cham a chainsaw operator to D30,000, Badou Gaye of Pakau Njogu and assistant operator D30,000, and Abdou Ceesay truck driver D15,000 for illegal logging of 5 Mahogany stems/
In Nuimi Berending, Saikou Sonko of Bakalarr operator was fined D15,000, Birom Jawo a truck driver of Jalangba D10,000, and Omar Bah of Kanuma driver D10,000 for cutting 26 round logs of 2 meters of mahogany and other trees and while the third case involving Cherno Alieu Bah of Essau a was fined operator D15,000 for illegal activity at Ndofan.
The court confiscated two chainsaws and handed them over to forestry officials in Juffureh.
Chief George L Sonko stressed on the tribunal zero tolerance to illegal loggings without a permit from the Department of Forestry.
The entire culprit pleaded guilty and paid their fine. Chief Sonko further called on people to follow the due process of obtaining a permit to avoid conflict with the law.
He cautions chainsaw operators and truck drivers to be mindful of involvement in illegal activities.
The Chief of Lower Nuimi has called on the people to desist from illegal logging at Nuimi National Parks, noting that more surveillance is mounted in the area.
Alasan Badjie Administrative Circle Head at Juffureh Forestry Office hailed the district tribunal of Essau for their reactiveness and support to the forestry office.
He thanked forest volunteers for their foresight in providing much-needed information, noting that the protection of forest call for collective responsibility.