Gambia’s Jammeh Pleads for Judges as Deadline to Quit Nears

By Suwaibou Touray/Bloomberg

jamenGambia’s Yahya Jammeh called on regional heads of state to help the country find judges so that its Supreme Court can hear his objections to his loss in a presidential election last month, two days after Nigeria’s president failed to persuade him to step down.

Jammeh filed an injunction at the court to stop the swearing-in of opposition leader Adama Barrow due on Jan. 19 and needs judges to hear the case as soon as possible, according to a recording of a phone conversation he had Sunday with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf that was broadcast on Gambia TV. Sirleaf is the current chair of the Economic Community of West African States, which is considering plans to force Jammeh to stand down.

“The only peaceful resolution of this impasse is through the courts,” Jammeh told Sirleaf in the conversation. Sirleaf responded that it’s a good idea if Jammeh puts his request in a written statement in which he pledges to follow the constitution. “Then we can move on and encourage Nigeria and other people to get the judges to come there,” she said, according to the broadcast.

The Supreme Court said it may be able to hear cases in May after a meeting earlier this month was canceled because there weren’t enough judges. It’s been two years since the court held a session. Gambia’s Bar Association last month urged the chief justice, a Nigerian national, to resign because he wasn’t independent.

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SOURCE: Bloomberg Online

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About Cholo Brooks 13154 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.