Chairman of The Gambia Electoral Commission Alieu Momar Njai/Photo: smbcNews

By Andah John with agency report

The head of Gambia’s electoral commission has reportedly fled to neighbouring Senegal, fearing a plot against him.

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This comes a month after he declared that Adama Barrow defeated President Yahya Jammeh in the country’s presidential election.

One of his relatives told AFP news agency late Tuesday that Alieu Momar Njie “fled to Senegal after he got information that the Gambian authorities were plotting against him and his team.

“Some of his team members have also left for Senegal,” the relative was reported to have said on condition of anonymity.

The relative did not, however, elaborate on how Njie fled or say who had gone with him.

There was no immediate comment from Senegalese authorities.

Njie, while declaring the winner of the election on 1 December, pleaded with all parties to respect the result.

Jammeh’s party later lodged a legal complaint against the electoral commission and the country has since been in political deadlock.

Jammeh awaiting ruling

The 51-year-old Jammeh, who took power in a bloodless coup in 1994, has said he will await a Supreme Court ruling in the case, delayed until January 10, before ceding power.

Jammeh’s refusal to step down, despite initially conceding defeat in the election, has stoked international concerns about the future of the tiny west African country.

Both the United Nations and African leaders have called for him to step down.

Meanwhile, a security source is reported to have said that a group of people arrested for selling or wearing T-shirts bearing the slogan #GambiaHasDecided have been released.

One of those briefly detained, who declined to be identified, said armed men had entered a shop selling merchandise featuring Barrow’s image and seized T-shirts, caps and badges.

They said they were taken to Gambian National Intelligence Agency headquarters where they were cautioned before being released.