Court Clears Way For the Swearing-In of Ya Kumba Jaiteh’s Replacement
The Supreme Court presided over by the Chief Justice, Hassan Jallow, has dismissed the application filed by lawyers representing Ya Kumba Jaiteh to restrain the Clerk of the National Assembly from swearing in newly-nominated MP, Foday Gassama.
“Having considered the submissions of the parties and on the basis of the legal principle favouring the presumption of the regularity of all official acts, the applicable principles of law relating to the granting of interim restraining orders the Court has come to the conclusion that the interim orders applied for the plaintiff/applicant Ya Kumba Jaiteh should not be granted and the application is dismissed in its entirety,” the five-member court ruled.
The court ruled that all agreement for the assumption of office by Foday Gassama as a nominated member of the National Assembly should proceed, and warned Jaiteh not to interfere with the proceedings until all the pending issues are addressed by the court.
Jaiteh and her lawyers, visibly upset about the ruling, refused to speak to journalists at the end of the session.
The new President of the Gambia Bar Association, Salieu Taal said ‘this is the verdict of the Supreme Court and we have to respect that.”
Outside the courtroom, several dozen supporters of Jaiteh expressed dissatisfaction over the ruling.
“Ya Kumba is a woman and I’m a woman representing the interest of women in the National women Council. So I’ve come here to show my solidarity with her. I am very disappointed that the ruling has gone against Ya Kumba,” said Matty Kanyi-Sambou, the Councilor of Jeswang Constituency.
Alkali Saidykhan, a UDP expressed concern that “the ruling will send a wrong message to the president that it’s ok to terminate the services of lawmakers, judicial staff and anybody who doesn’t like.”
The National Assembly will resume on March 18 when Mr. Gassama is expected to be sworn-in. He was nominated by President Adama Barrow on March 4 to replace Jaiteh, whose nomination as lawmaker was revoked on February 25.