President-elect Adama Barrow

Gambia’s president, Yahya Jammeh have asked the Supreme Court to block the swearing in of President-elect Adama Barrow, as he continues to attempt to annul his election defeat.

The president, who has been in power for twenty two years, made the injunction through his lawyer.

“Barrister Edward Gomez has filed an injunction asking the Supreme Court to grant order barring the swearing in of President-elect Adama Barrow. He filed this document few minutes close to 18:00,” a judicial source told AFP late Thursday.

The lawyer asked the court to prevent Barrow’s planned inauguration for January 19 until the legal case had been settled, according to a document seen by AFP.

But the Gambia’s chief Supreme Court justice said this week the challenge 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.

President Jammeh had initially acknowledged opponent Adama Barrow as winner of the December 1 presidential polls but later backtracked and lodged a legal case to trigger new elections.

The Gambia relies on foreign judges, notably from Nigeria, to staff its courts due to a lack of trained professionals in the tiny West African state.

In response to the injunction request, Barrow’s office said in a statement that Jammeh could not exceed his five-year mandate, which expires on January 18.

“The winner should prepare for inauguration while the loser prepares for Court.

“This is the fact that no Gambian should deny,” the statement said.

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