16 May 2017

Gambia: APRC Election Petition to Be Withdrawn

Lawyer Edward A. Gomez, attorney for the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction -APRC- party has told the Supreme Court of The Gambia that he had received instructions from his client to withdraw the election petition that was earlier filed after the country's 1st December 2016 Presidential Elections.

The Supreme Court penal consist of five judges, namely: Hassan B. Jallow, the chief justice of The Gambia; Justice Nicholas Colin Browne-Marke from Sierra Leone, Justice Cherno Sulayman Jallow, Justice Mary Mamyassin Sey and Abubacarr Datti Yahaya from Nigeria. This is the court's first sitting in the new dispensation since it was not constituted from June, 2015.

Lawyer Gomez informed the penal of judges that he had received instructions from his client to withdraw the case, which led to his filing of a notice of withdrawal. He said the withdrawal was in Gambia's best interest and the people living in the country to ensure peace, stability and prosperity.

Chief Justice Jallow, however, brought to Lawyer Gomez's attention the required procedure for the withdrawal of election petitions which, he said is captured in rule 27 of the Election Petition Rules, which states that, "notice of an application for leave to withdraw a petition shall be in writing and sign by the ground on which the application is intended to be supported and may be in the form set out in Form 4."

Upon hearing the guidance of the court, Lawyer Gomez said under the circumstance, he would apply for an adjournment to regularize the records. State counsel, Binga D. for the 2nd respondent did not object to the withdrawal application. The court adjourned the matter to 24th May.

The same circumstance has arose in the sister petitions, namely the case of Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh Versus Independent Electoral Commission -IEC-, The Returning Officer Adama Barrow and Attorney General and the case of Yankuba Colley Versus IEC. Both cases are also adjourned to 24th May.

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