The Gambian Supreme Court has legally ended the plan by President Yahya Jammeh to extend his tenure beyond the January 19, 2017 handover date to the winner of December 1, 2016 presidential elections, Mr. Adama Barrow.
The apex court on Monday failed to give accent to a petition by Jammeh, seeking an injunction aimed at blockingThursday’s inauguration of President-elect Barrow.
The Gambian dictator who had initially accepted defeat and verdict of the December polls, but recanted and lodged a case before the Supreme Court requesting the result be annulled despite talks from fellow African leaders.
In its ruling, Supreme Court Chief Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle, a Nigerian, told Jammeh’s lawyer that he could not make the order being sought to stop the January 19 inauguration.
He declared that the court would be unable to hold a hearing until May as most of the judges come from neighbouring countries adding that he was unable to preside over the motion filed because he was named in the petition.
Meanwhile, Barrow, who is in neighbouring Senegal has insisted that he would go ahead with his inauguration on Jan. 19 having received the support of the international community and African Leaders.
Already, thousands of people have begun fleeing Gambia amid growing signs that ECOWAS could invade the former British colony within days as regional leaders have signalled their determination to mount a rare African defence of democratic principle by using force to ensure that Jammeh, Gambia’s president of 22 years, gives up power.