Gambia’s Jammeh following Buhari, Mahama’s footsteps – Falana

President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia
President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia

The Gambia’s president, Yahya Jammeh’s decision to ignore a call to hand over power peacefully by the Economic Community of West African Communities was following in the footsteps of other presidents within the region, human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has said.

In a statement on Sunday, Mr. Falana said Nigeria’s Muhammmadu Buhari and Ghana’s former president, John Mahama, lack the moral right to ask Mr. Jammeh to hand over because they ignored rulings handed down by the ECOWAS court last year.

Mr. Jammeh, who came to power in a bloodless coup in 1994, suffered a surprise defeat in the hands of Adama Barrow in the December 1presidential election.

After initially accepting defeat, the incumbent Gambian president, who had ruled the country with an iron fist, reversed his position and called for fresh election.

The ECOWAS in an emergency meeting in Abuja last month set up a Mediation Team co-chaired by Messrs Buhari and Mahama to ensure a hitch free political transition programme in The Gambia.

But Mr. Jammeh has sworn not to hand over power or quit office.

Although ECOWAS is deliberating deploying troops to force Mr. Jammeh out of office if he clings to power beyond January 19, 2016, the head of the regional body, Liberia’s president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, told journalists on Saturday that they would continue to pursue a peaceful mediation and transfer of power.

“While urging President Jammeh to hand over power peacefully and allow the Supreme Court of The Gambia to determine his election petition in line with the rule of law we call on both Nigeria and Ghana to also respect the rule of law by complying with the judgments handed down last year by the Community Court of Justice which indicted them for the abuse of the human rights of two community citizens,” said Mr. Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria.

“In the case of Obioma Ogukwe v Republic of Ghana the Ecowas Court ordered the defendant to pay the sum of $250,000 to the plaintiff as reparation over the failure to investigate and bring to book those who caused the death of his 15-year old son by drowning on October 15, 2013, at Tema, in Ghana.

“The judgment which was delivered on June 17, 2016, was disobeyed by the Mahama administration without any justification.

“In the case of Col Sambo Dasuki v Federal Republic of Nigeria the Ecowas Court ordered the defendant to admit the plaintiff to bail pending the determination of the criminal cases pending against him at the federal high court and the federal capital territory high court.

“As the federal government could not justify the prolonged detention of the criminal suspect the court awarded N15 million damages in his favour. Since the judgment was delivered on October 4, 2016, the Buhari administration has not adduced any reason for treating it with contempt.”

According to Mr. Falana, since it is public knowledge that both Nigeria and Ghana are in contempt of valid and subsisting judgments of the ECOWAS Court, President Jammeh would justify his disdain for the rule of law by questioning the moral integrity of the leaders of the two nations to enforce a resolution of the body on democracy in The Gambia.

“To avoid such avoidable embarrassment I am compelled to call on President Buhari of Nigeria and President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana to ensure that they purge their countries of the contempt of the juridical organ of the Ecowas without any further delay,” said Mr. Falana.


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  • Sanmi Falae

    Falana is sick in the head, no doubt.

    • mayGodpunishopressors

      And you are well in your mind!!!

    • sab

      If you must come to equity, you must do so with clean hands!

    • Henry

      He sick because he said the truth what is the different between what falana said and what fayose had being saying

    • mbewalu ogodo

      And Bubuhari is sick in the anus.. spot on.

    • Owei Alfred

      Can you put party affiliation and ethnic attachment aside and call this what it is for once? At least, you won’t get paid for your subjectivity! Na wa o!

  • chinedu

    A matter of people coming to equity. And the nemesis that karma carries around. In another parlance if face me I go face you,box me I go …you

  • AryLoyds

    Chei Buhari , your hands are not clean Chekena !

  • Rommel

    I am disappointed that an erudite scholar like Falana would make the comparison of an ECOWAS court ruling which is not enforceable but an advice to member nations to a decision of the people of Gambia on who should govern them,too bad,PMB and John Dramani Mahama have the moral right to bring the Jammeh to his senses.

    • Me

      You miss the point Rommel. You cannot ride on the authority of an organization you have disdained. The leaders approached Jammeh on the basis of the ECOWAS union but they have themselves refused to obey orders of the ECOWAS court to which they voluntarily subscribed. That is the point of Falana’s position. PMB and Co cannot ride on the authority of the ECOWAS to force Jammeh to relinquish power when they themselves are in disobedience of a valid order of the ECOWAS issued via its properly constituted institution, The ECOWAS Court.

    • Marshal

      Can’t you just understand simple English? Ok let explain it to you, Gambia people have the right to ask jammed to transfer power but Buhari does not have any moral right to ask jammed to obey ecowas resolution because the same Buhari never obeyed ecowas rulings. Falana never said jammeh should hold power rather he is saying that a leader must lead by example , that is to say that Buhari should obey ecowas first before asking someone else to obey ecowas too. This is common sense brother.

      • brown charles

        May falana not lose focus in Jesus name, amen

    • anta mitchel

      Falana ia not a scholar

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  • Kevin Peter

    That is if Buhari knows that a human being is speaking.

  • Senator D

    Ouch! Mr Femi Falana that hurts… Never knew you took note that Buhari is TYRANNICAL and disdains the rule of law… Thank you Sir…

  • rr

    Sic semper tyrannis, may God punish all evil tyrants.

  • Victor Modupe

    Arrant nonsense from Falana. The Gambian people have spoken loud and clear. If Jammeh insists, he will be given the Gbagbo treatment.

  • Man_Enough

    The responsibility was given to them as presidents in the sub region not as individuals. Every president have their own negative side but the job has to be done by whom the onus falls upon.

    • aisha ani

      Thank you, I don’t know why it is so difficult for people to understand this.

  • Fredgozy

    buhari is in no position to be among those telling Gambia president what to do because they are the same people..tyrants who doesn’t abide by the rules of the law, rather they take laws into their hands.

    • brown charles

      What makes Buhari a tyrant!!!!! Just because you don’t like him!!!!!

      • Joseph Akinyemi Agunbiade

        He is a tyrant because he doesn’t obey the rules of law. Period!

  • Aminu Baba

    This Falana self. Just like to talk in vain. As a lawyer he knows fully well that ECOWAS has no jurisdiction over Nigeria territory and compliance to its rulings by member nations is absolutely voluntary

  • Ndukwe

    Ecowas must be a “good for nothing” organization. So what step have they taken against Nigeria and Ghana?