Published On: Tue, Jan 10th, 2017

Gambia’s S’Court fails to form quorum, postpones hearing in Jammeh’s petition

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The much-awaited legal fireworks at the Gambia’s Supreme Court over the petition filed by outgoing President Yahya Jammeh challenging the results of the December 1 presidential election which he lost to Adama Barrow was suspended.

This is because the Gambia’s apex court could not form quorum.

For the apex court to have jurisdiction to hear an election petition like the one filed by Jammeh, it must be composed of at least five justices.

But on Tuesday when Jammeh’s case was expected to be heard, only one justice of the court was available.

Gambia Supreme Court JusticesIt could not be confirmed why the remaining four were unavailable.

The pendency of the suit, it was learnt might affect the swearing in of Adama Barrow who defeated President Jammeh even with his incumbency power.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports quoted the Gambia’s Supreme Court’s registrar to have said: “the case has been adjourned until January 16, since only one of the required minimum of five judges is present.’’

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Mr. Barrow, a former real estate agent who was little known before he announced his candidacy, was scheduled to take office on January 19.

The postponement of the case came less than 24 hours after the Communications Minister, Sheriff Bojang, stepped down and fled the West African nation.

Mr. Bojang said he resigned because Mr. Jammeh’s refusal to accept the outcome of the presidential election was disregarding the will of the people.

On Monday, several West African heads of state resolved to intervene in Gambia’s political crisis after meeting in the Nigerian capital of Abuja.

They were expected to arrive in Gambia to meet with Mr. Jammeh, who ruled the country for more than two decades on Wednesday.

The UN and the African Union are also expected to take part in the dialogue and call on Mr. Jammeh to respect the country’s constitution.

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During an earlier meeting in December, West African heads of state failed to convince Mr. Jammeh to permit peaceful transition of power.

Some observers fear that delays to the planned handover of power can lead to violence.

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