At least one of newly appointed justices to The Gambia’s Supreme Court has rejected President Yahya Jammeh’s offer to have him hear his election petition.
Justice Habeeb A.O Abiru rejected his appointed and scheduled a meeting with the other new justices to share his view and urged them to do the same. Abiru is expected to get some of his colleagues to join him to make their position known to Nigeria’s Chief Justice Walter S.N. Onnoghen.
The Gambia has found itself in a political standoff after its demoralized President Yahya Jammeh refused to hand over power. The current political development is forcing newly appointed justices to start considering a request for deferment of the sitting or rejection of their appointment.
President Yahya Jammeh initially accepted defeat but change his bold decision a week later rejecting the results in totality and calling for fresh polls. He has since filed a petition in the Supreme Court.
Justice Habeeb A.O Abiru was a judge in the Kaduna Appeal Court. He presided over some election disputes in Nigeria, according to findings.
The Gambia Bar Association said President Yahya Jammeh has ignored repeated requests to constitute a Supreme Court since May 2015 and would, therefore, be against the principles of natural justice for the outgoing President to appoint Supreme Court Judges to hear a Petition filed by him or on his behalf.
(Reporting by Sainey MK Marenah; Writing by Sam Phatey; Editing by Alhagie Jobe)