The Supreme Court of The Gambia has adjourned the ex-parte motion for the review of the dismissed election petition filed by the Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP)to an unidentified date for ruling.
The Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) filed an election petition before the country’s constitutional court in December 2021 challenging the results of the December 4th presidential election in which the flag bearer of the National People’s Party Adama Barrow was declared winner by the country’s electoral body.
The Supreme Court led by the Chief Justice however dismissed the entire election petition for non-compliance with the rules of the election act.
Dissatisfied by the ruling delivered by the Supreme Court on December 28 last year, the country’s biggest opposition party which is represented by a team of lawyers moved a motion on Wednesday asking the court to review its strike-out verdict.
“This application is made pursuant to the provision of Section 8 of the Supreme Court Act 6: 05 and Rule 54 (c) and (d) of the Supreme Court (amendment) Rules, 2015,” the lead counsel representing the UDP, lawyer Borry S. Touray submitted as he advanced his submission, drawing the courts attention to notable issues in the ruling while making emphasis on the recent application which he said is made within a required timeframe.
“The Supreme Court is the highest court and no other court is above it in terms of the hierarchy of courts and its decisions cannot be appealed before any other court. However, the laws empower the court to review its own decision. However, the review applicants must show there was a miscarriage of justice as a consequence of the decision and also, the applicant must show the special circumstances to warrant the review,” barrister Touray submitted.
Lawyer Touray submitted that section 98 is the entire Elections Act that deals with security in petition cases, while citing Section 11 (c) of the Interpretation Act and submitted that the Elections Petition Rules are subsidiary legislation which cannot take precedence over the parent Act (Elections Act).
Touray further contended that the court made err to strike out the petition on issues not founded on any prayers before it and never allowed the petitioner to specifically address that point before delivering a ruling.
The failure of the court to comply with section 98 subsection 3 in this special circumstance, will occasion a miscarriage of justice, according to the lawyer who appealed to the court to consider the application in the interest of justice.
The Supreme Court court has adjourned the case for ruling without giving a specific date.