By Omar Bah
Direct Aid International The Gambia has saved at least 26 people who were about to appear in various courts within the Kanifing Municipality over arrears.
The organisation on Monday hosted an emotional event at its offices in Brufut to pay the arrears worth D1, 731, 400 owed by debtors who were entangled in legal issues after they failed to settle their creditors. The monies were paid directly to the courts.
Direct Aid International country director, Abdoulatiff Ourahou, said the significance of their intervention cannot be overemphasised.
“It is timely, considering the fact that these people are businessmen who borrowed money and couldn’t pay and they were about to appear in court,” he said.
He said his NGO is pleased to have saved them people from embarrassment and the possibility of going to jail.
“This was intended to ensure that both the debtors and the creditors continue to maintain the cordial working relationship they share. We hope this will be the beginning of a new era for all those we supported today,” he resolved.
He urged the overwhelmed beneficiaries to put the past behind them and focus on building a more prosperous future.
“You are all encouraged to open a new page and cement the already existing relationship that exists between you and your creditors,” he added.
Sainabou Charreh, a native of Brusubi and a business woman who was among the creditors, commended Direct Aid and the donors for coming to the aid of the debtors.
“As a businesswoman and Muslim, it was never my intention to take my debtors to court over unsettled arrears. However, I was also forced to do so, due to the difficulties I encountered as a result of the pandemic,” she said.
The furniture and house materials seller said she credited over D200, 000 of materials to three individuals.
Momodou Sowe, also a creditor commended the NGO for coming to his aid.
“My debtor was owing me D27, 500. I tried all means possible to get my money back but to no avail. I was left with no option other than to go to court. I am grateful that Direct Aid has come to the aid of the debtors and helped settle their arrears,” he said.
He said the NGO has not only stopped the debtors from facing a potential court appearance but also the possibility of going to jail.
All the beneficiaries who spoke at the event commended the NGO for coming to their aid and promised to do better in the future.