Gambia: High Court Rules Against Touma Njai

High court judge, Justice A.T Osei has dismissed an application for injunction sought by Banjul South National Assembly member Fatoumata Njai, (alias Touma) against the People's Progressive Party (PPP).

Touma Njai, on the 16th June 2021 filed an application seeking various injunctions against the PPP and for the court to make an order permitting her to maintain her seat as a member of parliament of PPP pending the hearing and determination of the case. The application was opposed by the PPP and Kebba Jallow, who is the current party leader and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

The Judge said when granting an interlocutory injunction, the court would avert its mind to the balance of hardship or convenience that may be caused if the application is refused or granted, the occasioning of an irrefutable damage of the parties and substantial issues to be tried.

In this case, Kebba Jallow was elected at the PPP Congress held on the 26th and 27th February 2021 under the supervision of the IEC.

"Although the applicant [Touma Njai] is challenging the validity of the said elections, the court does not think it will be proper to hold the political party at bay without any leader till the determination of the suit. That would obviously cause great harm to the entire party and this court is not ready to create that chaos by rendering the party leaderless," the Judge said.

Justice Osei said the status quo should be maintained until Touma Njai succeeds in proving her case.

The Judge held that Njai is representing a constituency on the ticket of PPP adding any attempt to remove her prior to the determination of the substantive issues before the court will not only cause her greater hardship, but to the entire constituency she is representing. He granted the application to maintain Touma Njai's seat in the name of PPP.

The Judge reiterated that the status quo should be maintained.

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