By Bruce Asemota
Lawyer CE Mene, representing Dr Ismaila Ceesay and Citizens’ Alliance party has said that the rejection of his clients by the Independent Electoral Commission was arbitrary and unfair.
Mene made this declaration yesterday before Justice Amina Saho-Ceesay at the High Court in Banjul in his submission of his Dr Ceesay’s petition against the IEC.
The petition is seeking a declaration that the IEC failed to comply with the provisions and spirit of the Elections Act Cap 3:01 Laws of The Gambia in the procedure adopted in rejecting the nomination of Dr Ismaila Ceesay as a presidential candidate of CA in the 2021 presidential elections scheduled for the 4th December.
The petition is also seeking a declaration that the rejection of Dr Ceesay’s nomination as the presidential candidate of CA by the IEC is null and void and a violation of the provisions and spirit of the Elections Act and a denial of Dr Ceesay’s constitutional right to contest the 2021 presidential election.
The petition also wants an order that Dr Ismaila Ceesay and Citizen’s Alliance are entitled to submit an additional list of names and signatures of registered voters for the Banjul administrative area having regard to the fact that Dr Ceesay only had notice of the rejection of his nomination contrary to the spirit of section 47(3) of the Elections Act.
The petition also asked the court to declare that upon submission of the additional list of names and signatures of registered voters for the Banjul Administrative Area, Dr Ceesay should be at liberty to continue to participate in the election process leading up to the presidential elections scheduled for the 4th December 2021.
The petition further asked that IEC pay the sum of D200,000 to the applicants as legal and administrative cost.
Lawyer Mene said there was “absolute lack of transparency” in the process noting that the process was “unfair and draconian”.
He argued that the IEC’s nullification of some names was “a punishment” to the applicants noting that there are no laws that gives the IEC power to nullify names.
He further argued that the rejection of the applicant’s nomination is “unfair” and that it is “a fallacy” for the IEC to think that it is operating fairly.
He urged the court to grant the application before the case was adjourned to 10am today for IEC to reply.