Panafrican News Agency

The Gambia Supreme Court declares revocation of expelled MP nomination null and void

Banjul, Gambia (PANA)   -  The Supreme Court of The Gambia comprising three judges led by the Chief Justice Hassan Bubacar Jallow Tuesday unanimously declared as null and void the revocation of the nomination of expelled member of parliament  Yakumba Jaiteh.

PANA reported that earlier last year, President Adama Barrow revoked the nomination of Jaiteh and replaced her with Foday Gassama due to inflammatory remarks by Mrs Jaiteh against the president.

Dissatisfied with the decision of the president, Madame Jaiteh filed an appeal before the apex court challenging the decision of the president which finally came to an end Tuesday after a panel of three judges led by the Chief Justice, Hassan Jallow, delivered judgment in her favour.

The verdict, which was read by the chief justice, went through the grounds of appeals filed by the respondent and cited various sections and provisions in the constitution to back his ruling.

It was the argument of the defendant, according to the chief justice, that the respondent had failed to discharge the burden of her contention that the president had no right to revoke the nomination of a nominated member. However, the chief justice averred that there was only presumption of regularity which needed to be determined, while citing the case of the United Democratic Party against the attorney general as an example to substantiate his verdict.

The principal contention before the court, according to the lead judge, was whether the revocation of a nomination member was in tandem with the law, adding that the Supreme Court had the jurisdiction to determine the provisions of the law.

The court also observed that the letter sent to Mrs Jaiteh did not explain the nature of her revocation of her nomination.

According to the chief justice, the law has explicitly explained the nomination of a member, qualification and revocation of a member, arguing that “words and phrases in the constitution cannot be read in isolation” while citing relevant laws in the constitution to back his verdict.

After citing relevant legal authorities, both local and international, the court ruled that the president did not have the power to revoke the seat of a nominated member despite the power vested in him to appoint a member while declaring the revocation of Mrs Jaiteh nomination as null and void as well as the nomination of Foday Gassama as null and void.

In a similar but substantive matter, the appeal of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) leader and lawyer Ousainu Darboe was dismissed by the court for lacked of merit.

Darboe was challenging the adverse findings of the commission of enquiry set up by former President Yahya Jammeh in 2001 into the taxes and other corrupt practices.


-0-    PANA     MSS/28/RA   28Jan2020