Friday, April 12, 2024

Procedure Adopted to Disqualify Momodou Sabally Is Flawed: Another Legal Mind Agrees with Ousainou Darboe

- Advertisement -

By: Christian Conteh

Another legal mind in the person of M. Robertson Roberts Esq has agreed with lawyer Ousainou Darboe Leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP) that Momodou Sabally’s disqualification was not in line with constitutional provisions, thus making the process fundamentally flawed.

- Advertisement -

Lending his legal opinion Lawyer Roberts said the procedure adopted to disqualify Momodou Sabally Is flawed and he thinks it must be set aside.

“Indeed, the Returning Officer has abused and outstripped his mandate by leaps and bounds. The procedure adopted by the returning officer is so flawed that any decision that emanates thereof should be set aside like rotten meat,” he said.

He further noted that no returning officer has the right, power or legal mandate to reject the candidacy of a Parliamentary contestant outrightly by stating that that person has been adversely mentioned in a Commission of Enquiry.

This he emphasises is certainly not what section 90(1) (E) of the country’s constitution states.

- Advertisement -

Infact, he maintained that the Returning Officer went on to state that this was his decision and not the decision of the IEC. And gave Momodou Sabally 48hrs to write to the IEC to challenge this decision.

“This is preposterous nonsense and the law deals with procedures and forms, and this should be the basis of a challenge at the courts. Who is this returning officer and what makes him think he possesses such a right to disqualify a candidate on his own accord, on the spot and based on his own individual understanding of the Constitutional provisions of Section 90 of the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia,” Lawyer Roberts opined.

The learned counsel further noted that when Mr. Sabally quizzed him (the IEC Returning Officer) he said he made the decision on his own accord,

“No No this is my decisoin”! (I refer you to the video on the Fatu Network). 

- Advertisement -

“Who are you Mr. Returning officer to make such a decision?” Lawyer Robert asks.

He stressed that the event of yesterday Thursday 10th March 2022 must be the basis of a legal challenge in the courts.

“Let the courts tell us if this is how the law must be applied and interpreted. That an unknown returning officer sitting under the blazing heat in Brikama can now make pronouncements on such constitutional matters of his own volition.”

“If you a returning officer possesses such monumental powers then what powers have the courts? Why then is an appeal pending in our courts when you Mr. Returning officer with absolutely no legal qualifications can give a blanket interpretation of a constitutional provision linking it to the findings of a constitution,” he further asked.

The matter continues to generate heated debate across the political divide, with various lawyers lending their legal opinion to the issue.

Popular Posts