By Yankuba Jallow
Gambia Court of Appeal was on Thursday informed by one of the counsels in the case of United Democratic Party versus Sheriffo Sonko that some files were missing in the records dealing with the case.
The civil appeal case is between UDP and the IEC, Sheriffo Sonko and two other councillors.
The United Democratic Party (UDP) brought the matter before the appellate court seeking for the matter to be treated with urgency.
Lawyer Abdul Aziz Bensouda signed the certificate of urgency.
“I hereby certify that it is expected that the appeal in this matter be heard urgently on the ground that the vacancy of the office of the Chairman of Brikama Area Council is a matter of great public concern to the operation of the Council,” Lawyer Bensouda signed.
UDP are dissatisfied with the high court order dated 20th July 2020 and are seeking the appeals court to set it aside and order for the matter to be tried as a matter of urgency. The lawyers for the political party contended that the high court judge, Justice Haddy Cecilia Roche misrepresented the record when she mentioned that Lawyer Bory S. Touray was in chambers on the 15th July 2020 when she made the Order on the 20th July 2020. Lawyer Touray is saying he was not present.
Justice O.M.M Njie, the President of the Court of Appeal said the record shows that the process for the 3rd Respondent (Bilal Faal) was received by Sheriffo Sonko.
Lawyer K. Jallow said she only appeared for the 2nd defendant (Sheriffo Sonko). She also raised the issue of missing files from the records, adding she wrote a letter to the Principal Registrar of the Court on the 3rd February conveying such information.
Lawyer B.S. Touray said “she is refering to the exparte motion which in our humble opinion is not necessary as far as the issues are concerned.”
Lawyer Jallow responded saying “yes, it is the exparte motion, the affidavit and the last page of the notice of appeal.”
Justice Njie asked Lawyer Touray to provide Lawyer Jallow with those documents and he promised to provide them.
The Court adjourned the case so that service could be effected on Councillor Bilal Faal personally and for the missing documents to be served on Sheriffo Sonko.
There is another suit involving Sheriffo Sonko and IEC at the Supreme Court awaiting judgment, but UDP is not a party in that case. The Supreme Court would make interpretation as to the constitutionality of some provisions of the Elections Act.