By Binta A Bah
The Independent Electoral Commission and the Attorney General’s Chambers have asked the high court in Banjul to dismiss the demands made by UDP aspiring candidate Momodou Sabally that the electoral commission quash its rejection decision and accept his nomination papers to enable him contest the April 9th National Assembly elections.
Lawyers acting for the IEC and the AG’s Chambers on Friday filed affidavits opposing Mr Sabally’s appeal.
The IEC denied Sabally’s assertion that the recommendation of the Janneh Commission does not contain any banning order for any specific reason. The IEC maintained that it did not misapply Section 90 (1) (e) of the Constitution which disqualifies individuals like Sabally from contesting National Assembly elections.
“The decision of the IEC in rejecting the nomination of the applicant [Sabally] pursuant to the relevant constitutional provision and as manifested in the report of the Commission of Inquiry and government white paper is not wrong in any manner as claimed by the applicant,” the affidavit stated.
It also contended that Sabally’s claim that the commission did not take time to examine his papers thoroughly on nomination day was “totally false” and “misleading”.
“The applicant is not entitled to the reliefs sought at all and this honorable court ought to dismiss same in the interest of justice. It is a frivolous and vexatious application and an abuse of process of this honourable court,” the IEC argued.
Sabally had stated in his appeal that IEC returning officer failed to furnish him with a tangible reason for rejecting his nomination papers.
But in its affidavit of opposition, the AG’s Chambers stated that the IEC had informed Sabally that he was not qualified to be nominated to contest as a member of parliament as a result of the findings of the Janneh Commission banning him from holding any public office in The Gambia as a result of his financial dealings with former president Yahya Jammeh.
“The report of the Janneh Commission of Inquiry found the applicant liable for facilitating theft of public funds and as such recommended that he be banned from public office for life,” the affidavit stated.