By Yankuba Jallow
Lawyer Lamin K. Mboge has on Wednesday, 5th February 2020 filed a motion for the Supreme Court to restrain Ya Kumba Jaiteh from assuming her seat at the National Assembly.
Mboge wants the apex court to restrain Ya Kumba pending the hearing and determination of his appeal (known as review in the legal parlance). The full bench (seven judges instead of five) of the Supreme Court has the jurisdiction to review its own decision. Section 127 of the 1997 Constitution gives the Supreme Court the power to review its own case and come up with a determination. If the motion sought succeeds in the review case, the previous judgment will be set aside.
Lawyer Mboge told Foroyaa he filed the motion seeking the court to restrain Ya Kumba on Wednesday, 5th February 2020.
“I am still within time and I will file my case very soon. The motion is seeking the court to restrain her (Ya Kumba) pending the hearing and determination of the review case,” Mboge told Foroyaa.
Mboge told Foroyaa he has 15 days to file his case before the Supreme Court for review.
“I am working on something and if I am done, I will file the case. I have up to 15 days. This means I am still within time,” Mboge said.
The Supreme Court judges on the 28th January, 2020 delivered their judgment and held that the purported termination of Ya Kumba’s nomination as a member of the National Assembly was unconstitutional because the President lacks such powers under Gambian laws.
President Adama Barrow nominated Ya Kumba Jaiteh as a member of the National Assembly in 2017 and on the 25th February 2019, her nomination was purportedly terminated by a way of an Executive Decision communicated to her by letter. The Supreme Court held that the purported termination was unconstitutional, invalid, null and void and of no effect. The court declared that Ya Kumba is a member of the National Assembly and her seat has not been vacated as provided by law and that the purported nomination of the 3rd defendant, Foday Gassama, as a member of the National Assembly is null and void and of no effect. The court made orders for Foday Gassama not to, in any form or manner, act or present himself as a member of the National Assembly.
The Ministry of Justice issued a press release expressing the government’s desire to comply with the decision.
“The Government wishes to further assure the general public that notwithstanding its disappointment, it will fully comply with the Supreme Court’s Decision with immediate effect. This is the position expected of a Government that is committed to respect for the rule of law and democracy. It demonstrates that no matter our individual opinions or divergent views especially on matters of national interest, we are all subject to the law and that no person or groups of persons are above the law,” the release stated.