By Omar Bah
The Supreme Court yesterday ruled that President Adama Barrow acted unlawfully in terminating Ya Kumba Jaiteh as a nominated National Assembly Member.
An executive directive was given for Ms Jaiteh’s removal after she allegedly criticised the president at a political rally in Gunjur.
But few days after the revocation of her nomination, Ms Jaiteh filed a lawsuit at the Supreme Court challenging the president’s decision.
She claimed that the president didn’t have the powers to do so.
The Gambian constitution empowers the president to nominate five people to the National Assembly.
In March last year, Ms Jaiteh lost an injunction to prevent the swearing-in of her replacement, Foday Gassama.
But yesterday, the country’s apex court led by Chief Justice Hassan B Jallow ruled that she was unlawfully sacked.
“The purported termination of the nomination of Ya Kumba Jaiteh through an executive letter was unconstitutional, null and void. The third defendant, Gassama’s nomination is unconstitutional, null and void,” the court declared.
The court then issued an injunction for Mr Gassama to desist from presenting himself as a nominated member of the National Assembly ‘anywhere’.
Accordingly, Ms Jaiteh has also been cleared by the court to resume work as prescribed by the constitution.
Immediately after the court’s ruling, Ya Kumba Jaiteh told journalists the judgment is a victory for the country and its democracy.
“This is not Ya Kumba Jaiteh’s victory but the victory of the country and its democracy. This was a test of the judiciary,” she said.