By Mafugi Ceesay
The Supreme Court of The Gambia Tuesday 28 December, 2021 dismissed the election petition filed by the United Democratic Party (UDP) for not fulfilling Rule 11 of the Election Petition Rules under the Elections Act.
Rule 11 is “Time for giving notice”. It states: “Notice of the presentation of a petition and of the nature of the proposed security accompanied by a copy of the petition shall be served by the petitioner on the respondent within five (5) days after the presentation, exclusively of the day of presentation”.
During the trial, the legal team representing the first respondent, Adama Barrow, and led by Sheriff Marie Tambedou, urged the court to dismiss the petition for not complying with rules 9 and 11 of the Election Petition Rules.
Rule 9 is “Petitioner to give security for costs etc”. It states: “The security given by the Act to be given by the petitioner shall be by deposit, or otherwise as ordered by the Supreme Court or Court.”
The five-member panel of judges led by the Chief Justice, Hassan B Jallow, went through the submissions and arguments of counsel for both parties before handing down their verdict.
The court agreed that the petitioner had failed to comply with Rule 11.
“Rule 11 is mandatory and non-compliance with Rule 11 of the Elections Act is fatal to the proceedings,” the panel declared and unanimously dismissed the entire petition with a costs of D100,000 (hundred thousand dalasis) awarded to the first respondent.
Dissatisfied with the outcome of the December 4 presidential election, in which the Independent Election Commission (IEC) declared Adama Barrow as the winner, the UDP on the 14th of December presented a petition to the apex court.