Gambia: Jammeh’s election petition, injunction to stop inauguration suffers setback

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President Yahya Jammeh

Emmanuel Fagbenle, Gambia’s Chief Justice has decided he will not rule on an injunction seeking to stop the inauguration of President-elect Adama Barrow on 19 January as he adjourned President Yahya Jammeh’s election petition to May or November.

The ruling party, Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC), has filed the injunction earlier in January, seeking to stop the inauguration of Adama Barrow, winner of the country’s Dec. 1 polls.

Jammeh said yesterday that Jan. 19, the day his term is supposed to expire and Barrow is expected to take oath of office, is not carved on stones and can thus wait for his election petition.

Read more: Gambia: ECOWAS ready to uphold December 1 poll results

Emmanuel Fagbenle explained that he can’t hear the injunction because he is a subject to it.

Among other things, the injunction called on Fagbenle to abstain from swearing Barrow in.

“Interlocutory injunction restraining the chief justice of the Gambia, his agents, servants, workers, employees or any other person acting in judiciary or quasi judiciary capacity from swearing in and or inauguration of Adama Barrow as President of The Gambia on the 19th day of January 2017 or any other date pending the determination of the petition of the Petitioner Applicant before this Honourable Court,” a part of the injunction reads.

Justice Fagbenle is currently the only Supreme Court judge in the country.

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Gambia’s president elect Adama Barrow

Jammeh was declared loser in the country’s Dec. 1 polls but he said the election process was tainted with “unacceptable irregularities”.

He filed the petition seeking to annul the results but the hearing could not also be made today because of the absence of judges who were supposed to come from Nigeria and Serra Leone.

The case was taken to the country’s highest court last week but it was adjourned to today and the Chief Justice confirmed that judges won’t come until May or November.

Yesterday, Jammeh made an appeal to the chair of ECOWAS, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, to prevail on his colleagues mediating the crisis to help him with judges to hear his petition.

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