The legal team representing the first respondent in the election petition case has applied for the withdrawal of their motion for the dismissal of the petition.
Lawyer Sheriff Marie Tambedou who led the team argued that they have filed a motion of consolidation before the court dated 20th December and have decided to apply for the withdrawal of their previous motion asking for the dismissal of the petition.
The petitioner, the United Democratic Party (UDP) last week filed an election petition before the Supreme Court challenging the 2021 December 4th presidential election in which the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) declared the National People’s Party (NPP) led by Adama Barrow as the winner.
The petitioner raised a host of election malpractices ranging from bribery and denying party agents access to ballot boxes before the commencement of the election as well as the voting of non-Gambians among a host of irregularities.
Moving the application before a five-member panel of judges led by the chief justice, the lead counsel for the first respondent submitted that the motion of consolidation needed to be determined first before moving with other processes.
Lawyer Tambadou urged the court to dismiss the initial motion seeking for the dismissal of the petition and grant the two motions filed on Monday, noting that the two motions are to be jointly argued.
Responding to the application, lawyers for the petitioner, Borry S. Touray and Lamin Camara Esq urged the court to rule out the application, arguing that the application has no basis and is a tactic by the respondent to delay the case.
The court, however, after unanimous consultation granted the respondent’s application for the withdrawal of the first motion for the dismissal of the petition and granted the petitioner a cost of D10,000 urged to be paid by the respondent.
After setting a roadmap for the hearing of the case in order to expedite it within thirty days, the Chief Justice ruled that the full hearing will commence on 28th December 2021 along a timeline for all parties to present their case.
The Chief Justice said that statements filed by parties will be considered as evidence-in-chief upon which witnesses will be cross-examined.
the supreme court subsequently adjourned the case to 24th December for a hearing of the two motions filed by the first respondent.
Meanwhile, the petition has also included the Attorney General as the third respondent in the case. The AG is being represented by a legal team led by the Solicitor General.