The much awaited hearing of Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh’s legal challenge to his election defeat on Tuesday (January 10) has been adjourned after judges from Nigeria and Sierra Leone failed to show up.
Our Correspondent in Banjul reports that Chief Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle adjourned the hearing until Jan. 16, meaning the court will hear the challenge filed by Jammeh’s ruling APRC party two days before his mandate ends.
The Supreme Court has not sat in over a year. Two chief justices have been dismissed since 2013, and one of them jailed.
The court hired four foreign judges from Nigeria and Sierra Leone to hear the appeal. Legal sources said on Tuesday the judges had not yet arrived in Gambia.
A document signed by Nigeria’s acting chief justice said the timing of the extraordinary January session was “unfavourable”. Gambia’s Supreme Court normally sits in May and November.
Fagbenle confirmed the document and said he had received a similar one from the chief justice in Sierra Leone.
Tuesday’s delay was the latest twist in the post-election crisis. Regional bloc ECOWAS mediation mission of regional presidents scheduled for Wednesday was delayed until Friday.