Court Intervenes in Dispute between 3 Lawmakers, Clerk of NA over ECOWAS Parliament Membership

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By Kemeseng Sanneh (KEXX)

The High Court has recently passed an order directing the Clerk of the National Assembly to stop interfering or attempting to remove 3 lawmakers from the ECOWAS parliament.

The case was filed by Honourables Fatoumata Njai, Kebba K. Barrow and Samba Jallow against the Clerk of the National Assembly and the Attorney General.

The three (3) lawmakers asked the Court to pass an interim order restraining (stopping) the Clerk of the National Assembly from his attempts to remove them from their elected membership in the ECOWAS Parliament until the main case is concluded.

Justice A. Jallow-Sey of the high court on the 27 March 2024 ruled on the matter.

The decision of the high court was that the Clerk of the National Assembly should stop his interference or attempt to remove the 3 from the ECOWAS Parliament until the resolution of the case.

The ruling was based on an “exparte” application filed by the 3 National Assembly Members. The application was supported by a sworn Affidavit, a 16-paragraph written statement of Fatoumatta Njai alias Touma. They also tendered two documents to support the application.

Lawyer Lamin J. Darboe said the rights of the 3 National Assembly Members were being threatened by the Clerk, who is interfering and taking steps to remove them from ECOWAS Parliament.

Lawyer Darboe said it is an established practice in law that the objective of an interim order is to preserve the status quo until the final determination of the main case.

“On the whole, I am satisfied that the Applicants’ action clearly denotes the existence of a legal right which must be protected. The Applicants have also fulfilled the requirements to enable this court to exercise its discretion to grant this application,” the Judge said.

She ruled: “This application succeeds, and an interim order is granted restraining the respondents, its servants, agents, or otherwise whosoever from its ongoing attempts to remove or from removing the Applicants from their elected membership of the ECOWAS Parliament pending the filing and hearing of the Motion on Notice.”

She further ordered that her decision should be served onto the Clerk and the Attorney General.