Lawyer Ida Drammeh Addresses Supreme Court in UDP’s Case against Sheikh Tijan Hydara

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By Kemeseng Sanneh (KEXX)

Lawyer Ida Drammeh, counsel for Sheikh Tijan Hydara, has on Wednesday 27th March 2024 addressed the Supreme Court in the case filed by the United Democratic Party (UDP) seeking court order nullifying the appointment of the defendant as Gambia’s Ambassador to the Republic of Cuba.

She said UDP misconstrued the provisions of the Constitution. Lawyer Drammeh explained that UDP called two witnesses who gave evidence and tendered videos containing “screen recordings” that Kemo Bojang said he obtained from the internet, Kerr Fatou and You Tube. She added that a newspaper was also tendered through Kemo Bojang. The second witness was Miss Niie, who tendered transcripts of the videos.

“The first comment we wish to make is that in as serious a case as this which calls for the Supreme Court to interpret and apply constitutional provisions, it is our submission that it would be unsatisfactory and in fact somewhat dangerous to accept the pedigree of evidence that has been offered by the Plaintiff (UDP) as a basis for making the orders sought by the Plaintiffs,” she said.

“We submit that the law is clear on the burden of proof in a civil case; that he who asserts must prove. The burden of proof rested on the Plaintiffs (UDP) to prove the allegations in their statement of case,” she added.

She cited Section 142 of the Evidence Act provides: “The burden of proof in a suit or proceeding lies on the person who would fail if no evidence at all were given on either side.”

She said the failure to prove an allegation that forms an essential part of his case would fail.

“We submit that the Plaintiffs (UDP) herein have failed to establish their case,” she said.

“We submit that the Plaintiffs have not proved by any credible or acceptable evidence, that the allegations made in their statement of case are true and therefore have failed to establish any right to the relief sought.”

She said there is no evidence before the court as to when was SHEIKH TIJAN HYDARA appointed as Ambassador of the Republic of The Gambia to the Republic of Cuba by the President. She added that there is also no evidence that Gambia Alliance for National Unity (GANU) is a registered political party or even that it is a political party at all.

Lawyer Drammeh said Sheikh Tijan is a politician and a founding member of GANU and he had resigned from GANU since his appointment.

She said the Independent Electoral Commission is the entity that should be approached, and they should be the ones to produce evidence of who the registered officers of a political party are.

“We submit that no matter how many rallies, speeches, Facebook posts or Kerr Fatou posts, there are, just saying you are an officer of a party does not make you such an officer. In the first place it is a Constitution that determines the offices and the registration records, the details of appointments to the office,” she said.

“We submit, that there was no evidence produced or offered to suggest that the 1s Defendant (Sheikh Tijan Hydara) was holding any office in any political party,” she said.