By Landing Ceesay
At the Supreme Court of the Gambia, the motion filed by the lawyers of the 1st respondent’s (President-elect Adama Barrow) to dismiss the United Democratic Party (UDP) petition case is set for hearing on 21st December (tomorrow).
The UDP has filed an election petition at the Supreme Court against President-Elect Adama of the National People’s Party (NPP), 1st respondent and 2nd Respondent, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) for the court to nullify the December 4 presidential election results alleging irregularities in the election campaign.
The UDP accused President Adama Barrow and his National People’s Party (NPP) of bribing and inducing the electorates during the presidential election campaign period; and accused the IEC of conspiring with President Barrow and his NPP to use supporters of the NPP as presiding officers of the Commission.
In the first hearing of the petition case at the Supreme Court, lawyers for 1st respondent said they have filed a “notice of motion” for the court to dismiss the case based on Constitutional grounds.
The lawyers argued in their “notice of motion” that a sitting President cannot be tried in court under the 1997 Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia.
“Strikeout or dismiss the election petition brought against the said Respondent, Adama Barrow in contravention of the provisions of the Constitution on the ground that the Respondent has constitutional immunity from suit granted to him as President of the Republic of the Gambia by virtue of Section 69 of the Constitution, such that no civil or criminal proceedings shall be instituted or continued against him whilst he holds or performs the functions of the office of President in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by him or her whether in an official or a private capacity; for such further or other orders as to this court seems fit,” the 1st respondent’s lawyers stated in the motion.
During the first hearing of the petition case on Friday , the petitioner was represented by Lawyer Borry .S. Touray, Lawyer Abdul Aziz Bensouda and Lawyer Lamin L Darboe; while the 1st respondent was represented by Lawyer Sheriff Marie Tambadou, Lawyer Christopher .E. Mene, Lawyer Pauline Bakurine, and Lawyer Ida Richard.
The hearing of the motion is set for tomorrow, 21st of December 2021.