Lawyer Darboe Asks Supreme Court to Nullify FJC & Rambo’s Appointments


By Kemeseng Sanneh (KEXX)

Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, the leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Lead-Counsel for his party in the case against Fatoumata Jahumpa Ceesay (FJC) and Ousman Rambo Jatta has on Tuesday addressed the Supreme Court asking the five (5) panellists to nullify their appointments in the foreign services. Darboe said their appointment was unconstitutional as it violated sections 169 and 170 of the Constitution of The Gambia.

The court has admitted in evidence the transcription of the videos tendered by UDP through their member, Kemo Bojang.

Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, the leader of the legal team for UDP, said the Constitution is clear on the President’s power to make appointments. He added that every citizen has the right to challenge any conduct that contravenes the Constitution as he cited Section 5 of the Constitution.

In this case, his party challenges the President’s appointment of two people in the foreign services. Darboe argued that constitutional guarantees are guarding against politicising such positions.

Darboe said the appointments of FJC and Rambo were done in bad faith and should be nullified by the Supreme Court. He referred to the evidence they tendered, which are mainly videos and their transcripts.

Darboe discussed one of the videos where Fatoumatta Jahumpa Ceesay was introduced as the party leader and he quoted from the transcript: “Our party leader is coming, a woman of substance who makes the party proud. Let me welcome my lord, Her Excellency, the Ambassador of South Africa Honourable Fatoumatta Jahampa Ceesay.”

The other video Darboe discussed was related to the APRC Congress in which Fatoumatta Jahampa was presenting the congress report as the Secretary General of the party.

“So, My Lords, there is nothing in their defence that protects them from section 170 of the Constitution,” Darboe said.

Regarding the claims against Rambo Jatta, Lawyer Darboe said in a video obtained from Kerr Fatou, which was already tendered and admitted in evidence, Rambo was saying “I am Rambo Jatta, the Second Party Leader of the APRC and a seasoned politician…”

Darboe said the announcement of the resignation of Rambo and FJC was only made after the case was filed against them. He added that their resignation was announced by Musa Amul Nyassi in a newspaper.

“The announcement didn’t come until this case was filed. There was no resignation before the case, but once the case was filed they resigned,” Darboe said.

The senior lawyer submitted that their appointment was unconstitutional and had no legal basis. He argued that the President acted contrary to the provisions of the Constitution when he appointed them.

Lawyer Darboe also placed heavy reliance on cases from Nigeria. He stated that the appointments were a nullity for one day.

“If a decision or proceeding is smeared with nullity, it is void and taken as if it was never given or made,” Darboe said.

Darboe said the Supreme Court has to set aside or nullify their appointments since their appointments do not exist in law.

“Since the decision is offensive to the law, it must be mowed down by the unbiased judicial sword of this court,” Darboe said while quoting from a Nigerian authority.

He referred the court to sections 166 and 170 of the Constitution.

“My Lords, any appointment that did not follow the Constitution, the court has to declare that it as a nullity as this Supreme Court did in the case of Yakumba Jaiteh versus the clerk of the National Assembly,” Darboe said.

Darboe said all appointees in the foreign services should come from the Ministry of Foreign Service and not from political parties.

“My Lord, so their resignation cannot validate their appointments and the court has to declare the appointments null and unconstitutional,” Darboe concluded.