Supreme Court dismisses UDP Petition case
The Supreme Court presided over by Chief Justice Hassan B. Jallow yesterday dismissed the United Democratic Party’s election petition filed by the party recently on the Local Government Councillors’ Election.
On 15 May 2023, the petitioner filed a petition dated 12 May 2023 challenging inter alia the rejection of his nomination as a candidate to contest the Local Government elections for councillor for Chamen Ward in Central River Region held on 15 April 2023, and the return of the first respondent by the second respondent in the said elections as elected unopposed.
The petitioner, Musa Cham, is a resident of Nianidistrict, Central River Region, and he contested for the Chamen Ward under the ticket of the United Democratic Party.
The petitioner sought inter alia, accordingly, a declaration that the first respondent Edrisa ought not to have been “declared by the third respondent (returning officer) elected unopposed”; and that “the return of the 1st respondent was undue”.
The applicant sought an order from the court for a “proper election be held in Chamen Ward Janjanbureh Administrative Area at which the petitioner and the 1st respondent shall be the only contestants”.
The court found that during the cross-examination of the first plaintiff by senior counsel Ida Drammeh, it was admitted that his nomination was filed late after the nomination deadline had passed.
The findings were further affirmed by the testimony of the returning officer, who stated that the nomination had closed before the plaintiff submitted his paperwork.
In his judgment, Chief Justice, Hassan B. Jallow stated that the court finds and holds that the nomination of the petitioner Musa Cham for election as councillor for the Chamen Ward in Central River Region (CRR) scheduled for 15 April 2023 was validly rejected by the Electoral Officer on 11 April 2023 and by the IEC on 13 April 2023.
However, the costs of D30,000 were awarded against the petitioner in favour of the respondent, and the costs are to be settled from the deposit of D50,000 by the petitioner as security for costs and any balance returned to the petitioner.
Source: The Point