By Omar Bah
Judges at the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Hassan B Jallow will today deliver its judgment in the case of Ya Kumba Jaiteh who is seeking for the apex court to halt the swearing in of Foday Gassama, who was named by President Barrow as her successor as a nominated member of the National Assembly.
Jaiteh on March 5, 2019 sued the Attorney General and at least three others over her sacking by the president.
The case was heard at the Supreme Court on Thursday with Ya Kumba Jaiteh’s lawyer asking the court to grant their application for an interim order as soon as possible.
“We are faced with a crisis situation which if not resolved will put us in a quagmire of having six nominated members of the national assembly which will be a violation of the constitution,” said Borry Touray, Ms Jaiteh’s lawyer.
Touray said the case borders on the question of separation of powers, “Equally, it touches on the integrity of the national assembly members”.
The state counsel, Binga Daniels in his intervention urged the court to dismiss Ms Jaiteh’s application, claiming that nomination is a privilege [and] such privilege doesn’t constitute a right.
He said one basic condition of an injunction is when a legal right is being threatened, adding “What the plaintiff is challenging in this court is an issue of privilege which cannot be considered an issue of right. She has no right to claim before this court and so granting an interim order will amount to putting the state into a difficult situation”.
A seemingly larger crowd this time gathered at the Supreme Court in Banjul chanting ‘Never Again Allah is with you’ in solidarity with Jaiteh.
The president’s decision has been declared as unconstitutional by many activists and last Friday, Kumba’s lawyers submitted a motion at the country’s top court seeking a declaration that the president’s action was “unconstitutional”.
However, the president’s new nominee Foday Gassama is due to be sworn in on March 18 which could depend on the decision of the court today.