By Mafugi Ceesay
Lawyers Lamin Mboge and Ibrahim Jallow have instituted a suit at the Supreme Court asking for the apex court to definitively declare that President Barrow acted within his powers in removing Ya Kumba Jaiteh as a nominated National Assembly Member. The process of admitting the suit is expected to be completed today, sources confirmed to The Standard.
Thirty-one NAMs including Ms Jaiteh, the Majority and Minority leaders, PDOIS’ Sidia Jatta and the Attorney General have been named as defendants in the suit.
The plaintiff lawyers are asking the court to declare that the president has the power to revoke his nomination of the Jaiteh as a member of the National Assembly; that the act is constitutional and valid; that “the purported” resolution of the National Assembly signed by the parliamentarians on Monday, 25 February 2019, is “procedurally defective, illegal, unconstitutional, fraudulent and therefore impermissible and contrary to public policy”; and that a perpetual injunction be issued restraining Ms Jaiteh from occupying the office as a NAM on the ground that her nomination is revoked by the president who nominated her into that office.
The lawyers stated that Ms Jaiteh was nominated along with four others as NAMs “after she was rejected to be candidate for the UDP during the National Assembly election in 2017”.
They alleged that Ms Jaiteh used her role as a NAM to “the disadvantage of the Government of The Gambia and in extension to the Gambian people, contrary to the expectations of her nomination as a National Assembly Member” by the president.
They further contended that Ms Jaiteh “conducted herself in an unreasonable manner not expected from her role as a nominated member of the National Assembly by the President. This include unreasonably objecting and obstructing the supplementary Bill 2019 and other government policies in the National Assembly”.
Mboge and Jallow also argued that Ya Kumba Jaiteh “had become a moral and political liability” to the president particularly when at a political rally of the UDP in Gunjur, “fermented” the president in these words: “The president’s mother is not the only woman who gave birth to a son” in the Mandinka language.
Meanwhile, earlier in the week, supporters of Ms Jaiteh also went to the Supreme Court asking for an injunction against the president’s action and a declaration that it was unconstitutional.