SaharaReporters has exclusively obtained a copy of the letter written by Nigeria’s Acting Supreme Court Justice Walter Onnoghen to the Chief Justice of Gambia, Emmanuel Fagbenle, declining to provide Nigerian judges to help adjudicate in the election petition of Gambian dictator, Yahya Jammeh.
The letter was in response to Justice Fagbenle’s letter sent to Nigeria on December 21 asking the CJN to allow some Nigerian judges this month to adjudicate on Jammeh’s petition over the Gambian presidential election earlier last month.
In it, Justice Onnoghen bluntly stated that Nigerian judges will only be available to sit in May and November 2017 due to a clash in schedules.
By the letter, the Acting Chief Justice effectively stopped Nigerian judges from being surreptitiously recruited to travel to Banjul to assist Jammeh in his tenure elongation plan. Mr. Jammeh, in his recalcitrance to abort the election of Mr. Adama Barrow as President-elect of Gambia, had secretly reached out to several Nigerian judges using Justice Fagbenle, who is also a Nigerian.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court in Gambia told litigants in the election that the court cannot sit until May 2017. Justice Fagbenle told all litigants to pursue the alternative crisis resolution which has been initiated by the Economic Community Of West African States.
The decision to postpone the court hearing till May reportedly devastated Mr. Jammeh.