Supreme Court Hearings Fail to Commence

By Mamadou Dem & Rohey Jadama

Sittings of the Supreme Court could not commence yesterday, 9 January, as the panel of judges, who were expected to hear the cases, did not appear.

The Judicial Secretary, Landing Sanneh, confirmed to journalists that they are yet to receive the judges expected to be coming from Nigeria and Sierra Leone. According to section 125 of the Constitution this court shall consist of five justices including the chief justice, who shall preside over the cases.

It was earlier stated in a local newspaper that sittings of the said court are slated for 9 to 19th of this month.

Two petitions have been filed by the APRC (Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction) challenging the outcome of the December 2016 presidential election. The first one was filed by Mr Bala Jahumpa, the APRC Campaign Manager and Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, in which the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is deemed to be the first respondent and the Attorney General as the second respondent. It has also been confirmed that Mr Yankuba Colley, National Mobiliser of APRC and Mayor of  Kanifing  Municipality, filed a new petition on behalf of his party in which the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is deemed to be the first respondent and the Attorney General as the second respondent.

The petition is challenging the results of the 2nd December 2016 presidential election which paved way for Adama Barrow, the Independent Candidate supported by the Coalition of opposition parties, to be declared as the winner.

It could be recalled that on 21st of December last year Chief- Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle presided over a petition filed by the same party with the signature of its campaign manager Balla Garba Jahumpa. Following the mentioning of the case, the single judge ordered for service to be effected on the IEC to enable their appearance in court. In the same vein, he disclosed that they were waiting on the judicial service commissions of Nigeria and Sierra Leone respectively to release the judges.