Supreme Court strikes out 31 Lawmakers’ case, set to rule on Ya Kumba’s case

Friday, March 15, 2019

The supreme court of the Gambia presided by Chief Justice Hassan B. Jallow in a packed court yesterday struck out the case brought by lawyers, Lamin K. Mboge and Ibrahim Jallow against the 31 National Assembly Members (NAMs).

The court’s decision came following defence counsel Abdoul Aziz Bensouda’s argument that the case was  frivolous, pointing out that the constitution of The Gambia by an Act of Parliament immunes the National Assembly members from appearing before any court for anything said or done while in chambers. 

The final decision of the case will be heard today at the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile the hearing of Ya Kumba Jaiteh’s law suit against the clerk of the National Assembly and others continued, with both sides making strong arguments before Chief Justice Hassan B. Jallow and the other four Supreme Court judges.

B.S. Darboe, counsel representing Ya Kumba Jaiteh argued that the removal of his client was unconstitutional because she took prescribed oath.

He said the defendants admitted to the fact that Ya Kumba is a member of several committees in the NA, showing the important roles she is playing in the house.

He said the matter is about the integrity of NAMs and said his client is not after money because all the damages cannot be served as compensation.

He urged the court to settle what he described as a ‘serious’ matter as soon as possible, noting that if not solved, it may lead to six nominated members in the house in contrast to the constitutional provision of five.

Binga D. in a counter submission said the plaintiff’s defence admitted that she was a nominated member and said Section 88 of the 1197 Constitution conferred on the president the powers to revoke her nomination.

He argued that plaintiff’s nomination was out of freewill, privilege and not a right and cannot therefore be a right before the court.

“No provision in the constitution provides the president from revoking a nomination,’’ Binga D. said.

He argued that “a privilege cannot be turned to right.’’

The case is adjourned for ruling today Friday.

Author: Sankulleh Gibril Janko