By Yankuba Jallow
The Supreme Court of The Gambia has in a unanimous ruling refused to grant an interim injunction sought by Gambia Participate and Center for Research and Policy Development against the Clerk of the National Assembly, Auditor General and Minister of Finance.
The two civil society groups on the 28th December 2020 filed a motion for the country’s apex court to grant an interim injunction against both the Executive and Legislature pending the hearing and determination of the case.
The Plaintiffs want the court to make an order directing the Auditor General not to grant approval for the payment of the sum of 54.5 million dalasis to the legislature pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
They wanted the highest court to make an order directing the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs to hold the sum of 54.5 million dalasis allocated to National Assembly Members and staff of the aforesaid body, in the public interest and not to pay same pending the hearing and determination of the case.
They wanted the court to make an injunction against the Clerk of the National Assembly, his subordinates, any intended beneficiary and whomsoever from applying for, raising of warrants, preparing payment vouchers or any documents to access the sum of 54.5 million dalasi or any part of it by himself, staff of the National Assembly Services and National Assembly members pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
The motion was supported by a 12-paragraph affidavit sworn to by one Marr Nyang, the Executive Director of Gambia Participate. The first defendant (the Clerk of the National Assembly) filed a 13-paragraph affidavit in opposition sworn to by one Momodou A. Sise on the 20th January 2021. The Clerk of the House filed additional affidavit in opposition sworn to by one Lamin M. Dampha on the same day.
The other defendants did not file affidavit in opposition but during the hearing, the Attorney General submitted in their behalf that the court should not grant the application.
“The court holds that this is not a proper case to grant the interim relief sought by the Plaintiffs. Accordingly, the motion is dismissed in its entirety,” the Supreme Court ruled.
The Court said the decision will be incoporated in the final decision of the case.
There is no date fixed for the final judgment. Foroyaa will continue to follow the case.