Chief Justice Emmanuel Fangbele

(JollofNews) – Gambia’s Chief Justice, Emmanuel Fagbenle, will Monday morning hear President Yahya Jammeh’s petition seeking to block the inauguration of President -elect Adama Barrow.

Mr Barrow is due to be sworn-in on Thursday  as the Gambia’s third president after he was declared winner of last month’s presidential election by the country’s electoral commission.

Mr Jammeh had initially conceded defeat and praised the electoral system as rigged proof. He changed his mind a week later and declared the results null and void citing huge and unacceptable mistakes by the electoral commission.

He later filed a suit at the supreme court asking judges to determine that Mr  Barrow was not duly elected or returned as president, and that the said election was void.

But the court is unable to hold a hearing until May – as most of the judges come from neighbouring countries – and Mr Jammeh’s mandates ends on January 18th.

And as the date nears, Mr Jammeh has asked his own appointed Chief Justice, the only Supreme Court presently in the country, to make an order of interlocutory injunction restraining Mr Barrow from presenting himself before the Chief Justice of the Gambia or any judicial or quasi-judicial officer or any person in whatever capacity whatsoever for swearing-in or inauguration as president of the Gambia on January 19th 2017 or any other date pending the determination of the election petition.

Lawyer Edu Gomez is representing Mr Jammeh

He also wants the court to make an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Chief Justice of the Gambia, his agents, servants, workers, employees, or any person acting in judicial or quasi-judicial capacity from swearing-in and or inaugurating Adama Barrow as president of the Gambia on January 19th 2017 or any other date pending the determination of the election petition.

The suit which was prepared by Mr Jammeh’s lawyer, Edward Gomez and supported with the sworn affidavit of  Seedy Njie, minister of Information and spokesman for Mr Jammeh’s APRC party, also wants the court to make an order of interlocutory injunction restraining Mr Jammeh, his government, agents, servants, workers, employees or any person acting in whatever capacity from preparing, arranging, organising, conducting, partaking or participating in any manner or form in the swearing-in and/inaugurating of Mr Barrow.

Mr Jammeh further asked the court to issue an order restraining the National Assembly of the Gambia, its speaker, deputy speaker, members, Clarke, agents, servants, employees or any person acting in whatever capacity from preparing, arranging, organising, conducting, partaking or participating in any manner or form in the swearing-in and/or inaugurating Mr Barrow.

Chief Justice Fagbenle at Mr Jammeh’s  campaign event

He also asked the court to issue an order restraining any organ of the government, any domestic, regional or international body, group or organisation, their agents, servants, workers, employees or any person acting in whatever capacity from preparing, arranging, organising, conducting, partaking or participating in any manner or form in the swearing-in and/or inaugurating Mr Barrow.

Meanwhile, some Gambian activists are questioning the impartially of Chief Justice Fagbenle after he appeared at Mr Jammeh’s campaign events wearing his party t-shirt and cap in November.

Futile

In response Mai Ahmad Fatty, a senior member of the opposition coalition said Mr Jammeh’s  injunction is futile and incapable of stopping President-elect Adama Barrow from being sworn-in as president.

“Let me be categorically clear here, you can file a thousand injunctions but President-elect Barrow will be sworn-in on January 19th Allah willing and there is no injunction that can stop that,” he said.