(JollofNews) – Gambia’s Chief Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle, Monday delivered a final knock out blow to President Jammeh’s bid to use the courts to stop Adama Barrow from assuming the presidency.
Mr Barrow who was declared winner of last month’s election is due to be sworn-in as third president of the Gambia on Thursday.
But President Jammeh whose mandate ends on Wednesday filed an injunction to the Supreme Court asking it to block his inauguration pending the outcome of an election petition he filed at the Supreme Court against the results.
Mr Jammeh had initially conceded defeat and praised the electoral system as rigged proof. He changed his mind a week later and declared the results null and void citing huge and unacceptable mistakes by the electoral commission.
He later filed a suit at the Supreme Court asking judges to determine that Mr Barrow was not duly elected or returned as president, and that the said election was void.
But the court is unable to hold a hearing until May – as most of the judges come from neighbouring countries – and Mr Jammeh’s mandates ends on January 18th.
And as the date nears, Mr Jammeh again turned to his own appointed Chief Justice, the only Supreme Court judge presently in the country, to make an order of interlocutory injunction restraining Mr Barrow, the Chief Justice of the Gambia or any judicial or quasi-judicial officer or any person in whatever capacity whatsoever to preside over swearing-in or inauguration on January 19th 2017 or any other date pending the determination of the election petition.
But in court today, the Chief Justice declined to hear the motion as it also affects him. He said he will recuse himself from the suit in the interest of fairness.
To the disappointment of Lawyer Edu Gomez who is representing Mr Jammeh, the Chief Justice also adjourned the election petition suit until the court is fully constituted.