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UDP Petition Case Dismissed, Asked To Pay D100, 000 To Barrow

Hassan B. Jallow
Chief Justice 

By Landing Ceesay

The Supreme Court of the Gambia has asked the United Democratic Party (UDP) to pay D100, 000 cost to 1st respondent (President Adama Barrow), after dismissing its petition case.  

The opposition party filed the petition at the Supreme Court against the first respondent and the second respondent (the Independent Electoral Commission), seeking the court to nullify the December 4 presidential election results; alleging irregularities in the presidential election campaign. 

The UDP accused 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 party and used NPP supporters as presiding officers in the presidential election.

During the first hearing of the petition case on 16th December at the apex court, lawyers for the first respondent filed a “notice of motion”, for the court to dismiss the case based on Constitutional grounds. 

In the “notice of motion”, the lawyers of the first respondent argued that a sitting President under the 1997 Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia, cannot be tried in court. 

However, during the 24th December hearing, the lawyer for the 1st respondent, Sheriff Marie Tambadou in his submission before the court said there were irregularities and non-compliance with regard to the petition. 

In today’s hearing, Chief Justice Hassan B. Jallow dismissed the UDP petition for non- compliance with rule 11 of the election petition rules.

Justice Jallow said it was clear that the petitioner has not served the applicant (1st respondent) the notice of presentation of the petition as required by rule 11 of the election petition rule and instead relied on services of the petition by the court.

“The petitioner cannot rely on the services by the court or an order to discharge his obligation. Service by the petitioner is distinguished from service by the court and obligation of service is a task stringent on the petitioner,” he observed.

The Chief Justice stated that the court found and ruled that on a proper consultant of rule 11 of election petition rules and the purpose of all the rules as well as resided cases, rule 11 of the election petition rules is mandatory and non-compliance to it, is fatal to the election petition.

“In the results, the court have found that the petitioner have failed to comply with the requirements of rule 11 of the election petition rules; hereby strikes out the petition amendment filed by the petitioner United Democratic Party (UDP) against the applicant (1st respondent) Adama Barrow, 2nd respondent the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the 3rd respondent Attorney General. This court awards cost in the sum of D100, 000 against the petitioner in favour of applicant (1st respondent). Such costs have been recovered from the deposit D200, 000 lodged with the court by the petitioner. There is no need for the court to consider hearing any other motion in this case,” Chief Justice said.

The ruling of the petition case took place earlier on Tuesday at the Supreme Court of the Gambia in Banjul.

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