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Supreme Court Adjourns UDP Election Petition Case To December 21

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Chief Justice Hassan B Jallow

By Landing Ceesay 

The Supreme Court of the Gambia has adjourned the United Democratic Party (UDP) election petition to  December 21, for hearing. 

On Tuesday, the UDP filed the election petition at the Supreme Court against President-elect Adama of the National People’s Party (NPP) and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC); seeking for the court to nullify the December 4 presidential election results. 

The UDP accused President Adama Barrow and his National People’s Party (NPP) of bribing and inducing the electorates during the campaign period; and also accused the IEC of conspiring with Barrow and his NPP to use supporters of the NPP as presiding officers of the Commission. 

The petitioner (UDP) was represented by Lawyer Borry .S. Touray, Lawyer Abdul Aziz Bensouda and Lawyer Lamin L Darboe. 

While the 1st respondent (President Barrow) was represented by Lawyer Sheriff Marie Tambadou, Lawyer Christopher .E. Mene, Lawyer Pauline Bakurine, and Lawyer Ida Richard. 

And the 2nd respondent (IEC) was represented by Lawyer Kebba Sanyang and Lawyer Malick HB Jallow.

Sheriff Marie Tambadou, the lawyer for the 1st respondent said they have filed a motion to dismiss the petition case based on Constitutional grounds that a sitting President cannot be tried under the current Constitution of the country. 

In response to the 1st respondent’s lawyer (Tambadou), Chief Justice Hassan B. Jallow told him (SM Tambadou) that the motion is touching on the jurisdiction that is a preliminary thing which needs to be addressed before the petition is heard. 

The lawyer for petitioner (Borry .S. Touray) said they have filed an ex-parte application for the court hearing to be only between them (the lawyer) and the judges of the Supreme Court of the Gambia. 

Lawyer Tambadou said they were served with the amended petition this morning together with the order of the court obtained ex-parte and that they wish to advise themselves on the ex-parte order. 

“Rule 22 of the election petition requires that every application of that petition must be on notice, particularly on the amendment. We need to take the necessary step,” Tambadou said. 

In his response to Lawyer SM Tambadou, lawyer Borry .S. Touray said that the proceeding is in the hands of the court to decide.

Meanwhile, Kebba Sanyang lawyer for the IEC said they intended to raise a preliminary objection on why the IEC is included in the petition. 

Then, Chief Justice Hassan B. Jallow gave until 22nd December for the 1st respondent and the 2nd respondent (IEC) to file a response to the petition filed by the opposition. 

The Chief Justice later invited both the Petitioner, 1st respondent) and the 2nd respondent to a status conference at his chambers on 20th December to discuss the road map and timeline for the case. 

He said all parties should work together to ensure that the case is tried expeditiously because it is a matter of public interest. 

Chief Justice Hassan B. Jallow then adjourned the petition case to Tuesday for the hearing of the motion filed by the 1st respondent to dismiss the case based on Constitutional grounds. 

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