By Baba Sillah
Lawyer for Saihou Jawara, the serving chairman of Kuntaur administrative area of Central River Region North has urged the High Court in Banjul to dismiss the motion on notice of hearing filed by the respondent’s lawyer for lack of merit.
Moving his objection before Chief Justice Hassan Jallow who presided over the case, lawyer Richards argued that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the motion as it lacked merit and was defective in its entirety.
He contended that the respondent was out of time in filing the motion, arguing that election petition should have been filed within 30 days as clearly enshrined in the Constitution and the Election Act.
Richards, himself a former high court judge and the first Gambian to have presided over cases at the Special Criminal Court at the High Court, further argued that since the respondent’s lawyer was out of time, the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the case.
He also pointed out to Chief Justice Jallow that the issue of jurisdiction should have been raised by respondent since the outset of the case.
Richards thereof cited sections of the law which he read out to the court to back up his contention.
The Chief Justice in his short ruling upheld the objection on preliminary objection raised by lawyer Richards.
The case was then adjourned to 12 September 2018 for hearing.
Aussainou Jobarteh, the United Democratic Party candidate in Kuntaur administrative area of Central River Region North has previously filed a petition at the Supreme Court against Saihou Jawara and Mustapha FM Jobe, the IEC returning officer and the Attorney General challenging the election result of the 12 May 2018 chairmanship election, urging the Constitutional Court to declare him the winner of the election and not Jawara, candidate for GDC.