Reports from The Gambia say a lawyer for President Yahya Jammeh’s has filed an injunction asking the country’s Supreme Court to bar the swearing in of the president-elect this month.
“Barrister Edward Gomez has filed an injunction asking the Supreme Court to grant order barring the swearing in of President-elect Adama Barrow. He filed this document few minutes close to 6:00 pm,” a judicial source told AFP late Thursday.
The lawyer asked the court to prevent Barrow’s planned inauguration for January 19 until the legal case had been settled, according to a document seen by AFP.
But the Gambia’s chief Supreme Court justice said this week the challenge could not be heard for several months as it did not have a full bench, and the extra judges needed to hear the case were not available.
The Gambia relies on foreign judges, notably from Nigeria, to staff its courts due to a lack of trained professionals in the tiny West African state.
In response to the injunction request, Barrow’s office said in a statement that Jammeh could not exceed his five-year mandate, which expires on January 18.
“The winner should prepare for inauguration while the loser prepares for Court. This is the fact that no Gambian should deny,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, lawmakers in Nigeria said President Muhammadu Buhari should consider giving asylum to Jammeh as a way of ending the political crisis in The Gambia.
A motion passed in parliament’s lower chamber on Thursday gave members’ backing to regional efforts to resolve the dispute.