There are conflicting reports about the presence of foreign judges in The Gambia, who were billed to arrive in Banjul over the weekend, to adjudicate dictator Yahya Jammeh’s election petition. While the Deputy Gambian Ambassador at the United Nations Sam Sarr told the Voice of America VOA Daybreak Africa program that the judges have arrived in the country, awaiting to be sworn in today Monday, reports have it that the judges haven’t arrived yet. Mr. Sarr claimed in his VOA interview that the judges would be sworn in today. He also alleged that the IEC database was hacked thereby compromising the outcome of the elections.
Mr. Sarr, expressed optimism that the Supreme Court should be also to settle the ongoing political impasse by issuing a legal position on the matter. Sam alleged that the electoral numbers declared by the IEC doesn’t add up. Hence, he said the court has competence to declare results null and void.
A source who reached us few minutes ago had this to say: “In the meantime, things are getting quite interesting. The high court complex is a graveyard quiet. Judges of the superior courts have not reported back for duty. The appointed supreme court judges that would hear the election petition did not arrive yesterday as planned.”
“One of the two Nigerian judges, who were on ground left The Gambia yesterday evening. Tomorrow will be an interesting day in the annals of Gambian jurisprudence undoubtedly. Meanwhile, most of the high court staff are applying for leave and this is being graciously granted,” the source added.
A local Gambian reporter, who writes for the Freedom Newspaper also said: “Judges are not yet in town. They were expected on Saturday, but did not turn up. They were supposed to start today till 19th, January with 12 cases to be heard. Reporters are waiting for explanation from the Chief Justice.”
The Supreme Court has been scheduled to sit on Tuesday to hear Jammeh’s election petition against the Independent Electoral Commission. In the absence of a proper Supreme Court quorum to hear the case, the election petition might be delayed.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai