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Thursday, October 1, 2020

CJ STAYS AWAY FROM INJUNCTION CASE

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By Baba Sillah The Chief Justice of The Gambia, Emmanuel O Fagbenle yesterday recused himself from the interlocutory injunction filed by the lawyer representing the APRC regarding the inauguration of the President-elect, Adama Barrow on January 19. Fagbenle also adjourned the election petition filed by the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction [APRC] and the petitions also filed by President Jammeh and Mayor Yankuba Colley until the court has quorum to hear the case in May or November. The Chief Justice in his ruling on the interlocutory injunction ruled that he could not preside over the case since he is a party in the case but however ruled that the case could be heard by other judges when the court is fully constituted in May or November together with other case regarding the election petition. When the petition case was mentioned in the chambers of the Chief Justice yesterday morning, lawyer Edward Anthony Gomez who appeared for the petitioners, APRC, Yahya Jammeh and Mayor Yankuba Colley, informed the chambers that he has a pending motion before the chamber regarding the substitute of services but still now the respondents, the Independent Electoral Commission [IEC] and Adama Barrow could not be served. Lawyer Gomez noted that Mr Barrow could not be served with the petition still now due to heavy security ring around him while there was no one at the premises of the IEC who could be served. He appealed to the chambers to make an order for process of service on the respondents through a sort of advertisement on daily newspapers which are widely read in the country. It would be recalled that on January 12, counsel for the petitioners , Edward Anthony Gomez filed an interlocutory injunction to the same court praying to the court for the Chief Justice of The Gambia, his agents, servants, workers, employees or any person acting in judicial or quasi-judicial capacity to restrain from swearing-in or inaugurating Adama Barrow as the President of The Gambia on the 19thof January or any other date pending the determination of the petition before the court. The petitioner further asked for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the President of The Gambia, the government of the Gambia, its agents, servants, workers, employees or any person acting in whatever capacity from preparing, arranging, organizing, conducting, partaking or participating in any manner or form in the swearing-in or inauguration of Adama Barrow as President of The Gambia on 19th January, 2017 or any other date pending the determination of the petition. The interlocutory injunction further asked for an order restraining the National Assembly of The Gambia, its Speaker, Deputy Speaker, honorable members and other organs of the government, any domestic, regional or international body, group or organization to participate in the swearing-in or inauguration of Adama Barrow as the president of The Gambia on the 19th of January 2017 or any other date pending the determination of the petition before the court. An order also sought to restrain Adama Barrow from presenting himself before the Chief Justice of The Gambia or any judicial or quasi-judicial officer or any person in whatever capacity whatsoever for swearing-in or inauguration as the President of The Gambia pending the determination of the petition before the court. After listening, the chief justice made an order again for substitute of service to be effected on the respondents while recusing himself from the motion dated January 12 seeking for interlocutory injunction before adjourning the matter. It could be recalled that the APRC secretary general, Bala Garba Jahumpa earlier filed election petition at the Supreme Court of The Gambia urging the said court to declare the December 1 Presidential election results as null and void. The petition also asked the court to declare President Yahya Jammeh as the duly elected president of The Gambia, instead of Adama Barrow on the ground that Mr Jammeh had more votes than Mr Barrow in the disputed December 1 presidential election. The petition added that the election was invalid as there was no-compliance with the Election Act and was not conducted fairly and in good faith which seriously affected the credibility of the result of the election and thereby rendering the it invalid. The petition further stated that the IEC, which is the statutory body responsible for the proper conduct of elections in The Gambia failed to properly collate the results of the election. It said no APRC representative was present when the said revision was made, neither was it signed by the APRC representative, Hon. Seedy SK Njie. It further stated that on the polling day, 1 December 2016 in the Upper River Region; “25,000 APRC supporters who were on the queue to cast their vote for Yahya Jammeh were intimidated by the IEC presiding officers, and were not allowed to cast their vote and were sent home by these officers”. The petition further stated that the non-compliance also includes complaints of some irregularities in the conduct of voting in the Lower Fulladu West constituency.]]>

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