Options for President Yahya Jammeh to remain in power are getting slimmer after his election petition suffered a mishap, yet again. Gambia’s Chief Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle has adjourned the hearing of President Yahya Jammeh’s election petition to May, possibly November depending on the availability of judges.
Jammeh, 51, ruled the Gambia for 22 years and lost elections to a political neophyte and real estate developer Adama Barrow.
Barrow is set to be sworn in this week but President Jammeh is refusing to relinquish power.
Jammeh had fired all the Supreme Court justices and ignored repeated calls by the bar association to appoint new judges.
Nigeria’s Chief Justice said judges would not be able to travel to Gambia to hear Jammeh petition until in May or November and urged the Gambia’s Chief Justice to stick to the agreement.
The Supreme Court is also set to hear an injunction filed by President Yahya Jammeh’s lawyer to prohibit Mr. Adama Barrow from being inaugurated.
President Yahya Jammeh has until January 18 to step aside or force ECOWAS to militarily intervene.
Mali’s president Ibrahim Keita called for “proverbial African wisdom” to prevail to avert a bloodbath and there are growing fears that the uncertainty could cause a refugee exodus.
Thousands of Gambians, mostly women, and children, have already crossed the border into neighboring Senegal and further afield to Guinea-Bissau, where they do not require a visa.
(Reporting and Writing by Sainey MK Marenah; Additional Writing and Editing by Sam Phatey)