by editor | January 16, 2017 9:20 pm
By Ebrima G Sankareh Editor-in- Chief
The Gambia Echo can confidently reveal that two jurists on Gambia’s redundant Supreme Court will not hear President Jammeh’s election petition case pending before the West African nation’s highest judicial body whose Chief Justice, Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle, is also, Nigerian.
During two separate, exclusive and highly confidential conversations secured by a highly-placed judicial interlocutor, the jurists insists that “those who seek justice must themselves be just” and given the preponderance of reports on the ground “President Jammeh’s case is already tainted with damaging allegations of forgery”.
According one of the judges, even if President Jammeh had a legitimate case to file a petition, sending soldiers to seize the Electoral Building for a week, and then relinquish their siege, fatally undermines the credibility of any subsequent petition associated with his case. “My brother, sometimes Mr. Jammeh thinks he is still running a military junta that survives by prolific decrees and The Gambia had graduated from military rule since 1996, when he resigned from the army and contested elections. Now it’s the Gambian Constitution that reigns supreme and that is the point that all his legal advisers must bear in mind.”
Using crime scene analogy, one of the jurists likens President Jammeh’s deployment of troops to the IEC offices to a detective criminalist who descends onto a crime scene with vials of blood in hand, seizes the accident scene for a week and then vacates the scene with the blood and all DNA and then files a petition based on doctored, contaminated evidenced purportedly collected.
There are serious allegations from people on the ground that while soldiers lay siege on the Independent Electoral Commission headquarters, the government made good use of the computers, tampered with files and then produced documents that they now want us to use and determine the validity or otherwise of the alleged loser’s petition. “This is why I am not going to The Gambia and I doubt if any judge worthy of his name will be a party to such a travesty of justice. Besides, we’re sworn to oaths to dispense justice without fear or favour, affection or ill will and that is a very, very high bar for any believer” one of them reveals.
Asked if their colleague from Sierra Leone also hold similar sentiments, they both suggested that I could use the same channel to hear first-hand from the horse’s mouth.
These damning revelations come in the wake of the despot’s lacklustre efforts to have the Supreme Court hear his case willy-nilly. Only last night, he stooped so low tape-recording without notice, private phone conversation with ECOMOG Chairwoman and Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and no sooner had they concluded that conversation, than he took to the airwaves and volunteered the entire private conversation.
As we went to press, international news networks and social media combined are inundated with Madam Sirleaf’s angry reaction to Mr. Jammeh’s subterfuge only to derail the democratic will of the Gambian people.
In a related yet predictable development that even lawyers trained at a gutter must know, is that Chief Justice Fagbenle earlier today, recused himself from the despot’s latest attempt to preclude him and all other judges, magistrates, government lawyers, agents or clerks from swearing in President-elect, Adama Barrow. For now though, the quandary continues as the despot battles that indispensable element, TIME, that is grinding faster than the eye can see and in the next 48 hours, Gambians are bracing for a moment in their history when “the old order changet, yielding place anew.”
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