By ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH
Family of the Nigerian-born former Chief Justice, CJ, of The Gambia, Justice Joseph Wowo, accused of requesting bribe over a land issue, has said the judge was being persecuted on account of his nationality.
In a document made available to Vanguard in Lagos by his elder brother, Godwin Wowo, he claimed that the bribe story was a “bunch of falsehood” orchestrated by powerful forces in The Gambia, who did not want a foreigner to be appointed CJ of their country.
Godwin claimed that his younger brother’s problems started when he was invited by The Gambia’s former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Lamin Jobarteh, to help settle a dispute.
The dispute concerns a land matter in which Justice Wowo, as a High Court Judge, had delivered a judgment in favour of a German, Bernd Dietrich, against 12 trespassers, including one Andre Sape Van Klaabergen, who was the former Minister’s client before his appointment as Attorney-General.
According to Godwin’s account, the said meeting was attended by parties to the land suit, who were also accompanied by their lawyers.
He said that the ex-Attorney-General had offered to pay D500,000 as compensation to the German on behalf of his client.
He said the German, through his counsel, Mr. Christopher Mene,refused, maintaining that he wants nothing less than D1.5 million for the land.
He said that his brother could have demanded bribe at the meeting that held at the former minister’s house before over 12 people, saying a judgment of the court had been delivered on the issue.