Gambian Judges flee country, election petition hearing in limbo

Source: Freedom Newspaper
Date: 10-01-2017 Time: 08:01:36:am
Yahya Jammeh

The Gambia's Supreme Court is unlikely to convene to hear a petition by President Yahya Jammeh challenging the results of the 1 December election.

This is because most of the judges who are expected to hear the case have left that country. Foreign Judges from Sierra Leone and Nigeria who were also expected to join the panel have refused to fly in.

This is all part of pressure being brought to bear on the president to accept defeat and hand over power to President-elect Adama Barrow.

Gambian journalist Moodu Lamin Biae reports that there is panic in the country ahead of tomorrow's court case.

Meanwhile, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) leaders have been meeting in Abuja Monday to discuss a resolution to the crisis.

Ghana's immediate former President John Mahama was appointed by the newly sworn President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to as a co-mediator to help mediator Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama said the meeting on Monday deliberated on the current state of affairs in The Gambia and shared views on the way forward. 

"They agreed on the determination to resolve the Gambian political crises in a manner that at every step of the way, conforms with the constitution of the country and respect the will of the people," he said. 

According to him, the leaders express particular concern about at the deteriorating situation that has been reported with respect to the security of the country, particularly the closure of some radio stations and media houses, arbitrary arrests and also the refugee's situation with the mass exodus of people to neighbouring countries. 

The meeting agreed that a certain number of presidents will visit again in two days time to meet with the Gambian President. Those meeting Mr Jammeh include President Buhari, Mr Mahama, President of Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Others are the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Special representative of the United Nations as well as a representative of the African Union. 

"They will meet to discuss with Yahya Jammeh the imperative to respect the constitution," he said.

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