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Chief Justice orders substituted service on Barrow & Co via media

Jan 17, 2017, 10:45 AM | Article By: Bruce Asemota & Halimatou Ceesay

The Chief Justice of The Gambia, Emmanuel Fagbenle, has ordered lawyer Edward A. Gomez, the counsel for the APRC, President Jammeh, Yankuba Colley, for and on behalf of five thousand, three hundred thirty voters to effect substituted service on the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the Returning Officer for the presidential election (Alieu Momarr Njie) and Adama Barrow, through the media.

The Chief Justice made this order yesterday in the election petition case, which came up before the Supreme Court and was held in his chambers.

When the matter was called, counsel Edward Anthony Gomez said they have a pending motion before the court.

He said “the 1st motion dated and filed on 10 January 2017 prayed for the court to permit the petitioner to serve motion on notice already filed and sought to be filed and attached herein and other processes on the suit for a substituted service in the national daily newspapers which enjoy wide circulation within the country.”

He said the motion was supported by a 17-paragraph affidavit sworn to by one Ibrahim Jallow, a Gambian legal practitioner, who works with him at his law chambers.

He said the application was predicated on several grounds, noting that one of the grounds is that the court process server was assigned to serve the respondent, Adama Barrow, and when he got there, he was not allowed to serve him due to the security ring around him, and was threatened to leave the place, and that Adama Barrow would not be served without any appointment.

He added that there was a need to serve the respondents with all the processes, as it is in the interest of Justice that the application be granted.

On the second motion filed by Mayor Yankuba Colley versus IEC and Adama Barrow, lawyer Gomez asked for the same prayers to advertise the motion and other processes in the daily newspapers.

Counsel disclosed that the motion was also supported by a 17-paragraph affidavit sworn to by the same Ibrahim Jallow.

On the third motion filed on behalf of President Jammeh against the Attorney General, IEC, Alieu Momarr Njie and Adama Barrow, counsel said the Attorney General had been duly served but sought the same prayer for substituted service through the media.

He said the motion was supported by a 17-paragraph affidavit also sworn to by Ibrahim Jallow as the deponent, noting that they are relying on all the paragraphs, particularly paragraphs 13 and 14 which state that time was of the essence in the determination of the petition, and that it was in the interest of justice, peace and tranquility.

In his ruling, the Chief Justice stated that service is essential in the interest of Justice and a fair trial, and then granted the application for a substituted service to be advertised on newspapers.

He ordered that substituted service be made on GRTS, The Point newspaper, Foroyaa, Daily Observer newspaper and The Standard newspaper.

He then adjourned consideration of the petition to either May or November this year, for determination of the full panel of judges of the Supreme Court of The Gambia or on any other dates.

The Chief Justice said he was optimistic that the ECOWAS would assist the government to hear the petition.

He expressed appreciation of the efforts of the Mediator General and the ECOWAS regional bloc in resolving the political impasse peacefully.