Chief Justice of The Gambia, Emmanuel Fagbenle, on Monday pulled out of a suit by President Yahya Jammeh to stop the inauguration of president-elect Adama Barrow on Thursday.
“Given that the injunction affects me in my capacity as the Chief Justice, I will excuse myself from hearing it,” he said.
“The motion therefore waits for the constitution of the Supreme Court or allows the judges to arrive in The Gambia”, he added.
Edward Gomez, a lawyer for Jammeh’s party, conceded it was “certainly not possible under these circumstances” to have an injunction barring Barrow from being sworn in.
Supreme Court has said Jammeh’s challenge to the election result 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.
Barrow’s spokesman insisted he would be sworn in as planned on Thursday. He is currently in Senegal. Jammeh on Sunday stated that he would not leave office until the Supreme Court had heard his challenge to the poll result.
“The so-called deadline of 19th January 2017 is not cast in stone and all parties shall await the outcome of the Supreme Court,” he said on state television.