Lawyers for president-elect Adama Barrow yesterday withdrew their first motion seeking dismissal of an election petition brought by the United Democratic Party against Barrow.

Barrow’s team of lawyers will on Friday proceed to move their second motion seeking dismissal of the case base on constitutional ground; that a sitting president has constitutional immunity from civil and criminal proceedings.

The high-profile case is presided over by Supreme Court judges Hassan B. Jallow, Cherno Sulayman Jallow, Mam Yasin Sey, Awa Bah and Edrissa Fafa M’bai.

Lawyer Sheriff Marie Tambadou who led Barrow’s lawyers informed the court that he is seeking to consolidate his two motions – Motion 1 and Motion 2.

But the lead lawyer for United Democratic Party Bory S. Touray objected saying the court was convened to hear Motion 1 adding Motion 2 is scheduled for Friday. 

Lawyer Touray insisted that the court should follow its roadmap as agreed at the “Status Conference” held on Monday at the Chief Justice’s Chambers.

Lawyer Tambadou also argued saying the two motions are the same and the arguments for both should be made at once. 

Upon hearing the application by Counsel Tambadou and the objection by Barrister Touray, Hassan B. Jallow, Chief Justice said the court will hear Motion 1 today [Tuesday 21 December] and will hear Motion 2 on Friday as agreed in their meeting.

This is when Lawyer Tambadou rose up and applied to withdraw Motion 1. 

Tambadou said both motions are the same, but Motion 2 is more elaborate.

Lawyer Tambadou told the court that they have filed a motion dated the 20th December 2021, which goes to challenge the competence of the UDP petition. 

He added that they filed another motion on Tuesday morning to consolidate the two motions.

Lawyer Bory S. Touray said he was served with the newest motion (seeking to consolidate the two motions) in court on Tuesday morning.

“We did not have time to look at it,” he said.

Lawyers Kebba Sanyang for IEC and Husein Thomasi for the Attorney General both indicated that they were served with the new motion seeking to consolidate the two motions.

Lawyer Bory S. Touray rose up and reminded the court of their agreement during the “Status Conference” held at the Office of the Chief Justice. 

He said the case was scheduled for the court to hear Motion 1 adding he is objecting to the request for the consolidation of the two motions. 

Lawyer Sheriff Tambadou said having regarding to the two motions, both touches on the petition and the amended petition as well as the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case. He submitted that the motion for the consolidation of the two motions.

Chief Justice Hassan B. Jallow said the court will hear Motion 1 first and then Motion 2 on Friday.

Lawyer Tambadou applied for Motion 1 to be struck out. Lawyer Touray for UDP still objected saying it was a delay tactic by the Lawyers for the President. 

He said the withdrawal amounts to holding the court at a ransom. Touray applied for the application to withdraw the motions to be dismissed.

Chief Justice Jallow accepted the withdrawal and struck out Motion 1. However, he ordered that the President should pay cost of D10, 000 for the delay. Motion 2 will be heard on Friday at 9:30 am.

In another development in this suit, the Court set-aside December 28 to hear the UDP petition and ordered that UDP will have 5 days to argue their case, President Barrow will have further 5 days to argue his case, IEC will be accorded 2 days to argue their case while the Attorney General will only have one day to present his case.

Justice Jallow ordered that all parties in the case should file and serve their list of witnesses, witness statements and other particulars on or before the 24th December 2021.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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