The Gambian Bar Association, GBA, has claimed that President Yahya Jammeh was plotting to use Nigerian lawyers to return himself to office despite his defeat at the presidential election last week.
The association stated that Jammeh, who rejected his loss of the presidential election after initially accepting the outcome, was planning to bring to Gambia judicial officers from Nigeria to frustrate the decision of the Gambian electorates.
The GBA in a statement obtained by Sahara reporters on Monday, also said it had no confidence in the Gambian Chief Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle, a Nigerian, noting that he would take steps to extend the illegal regime of Jammeh.
“There is a total breakdown of the rule of law and the Chief Justice has been known to carry out executive directives in matters of the state interest,” the Gambian Bar said.
The union further explained that there had been no Session of the Supreme Court of the Gambia for almost two years, in breach of the law, noting that the only Judge appointed to sit on the Supreme Court was Fagbenle.
The lawyers said, “Whenever there is an intention to constitute a Supreme Court, he (Fagbenle) and the Attorney General would handpick qualified lawyers or judges from commonwealth countries who would visit the Gambia for a two-week duration and are appointed by the President for that purpose to dispose of cases.
“It is clear that Jammeh did not expect to lose the election and did not deem it fit to have a sitting permanent Supreme Court.
“This has inured to his benefit for the last two years during which several cases have sat unheard by a Supreme Court.
“Case in point is the appeal by the United Democratic Party against the conviction of its party leaders.”