Gambia: Jammeh’s lawyer flees, asks him to step down

Photo credit: Aljazeera

Edu Gomez, the lawyer of outgoing leader of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, has fled the country to neighbouring Senegal after penning the president a letter to step down from office in the interest of peace.

Mr. Gomez who represented Mr. Jammeh and his party, the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction, APRC, in their failed attempt to have the country’s Supreme Court overturn the victory of the President-elect, Adama Barrow, and stop his inauguration as President.

In his letter, Mr. Gomez claimed he was made to work under “tremendous pressure and coercion” as the lawyer of the now largely isolated leader and his party. He added that he could not refuse to work for Mr. Jammeh and his party, like other lawyers in the country, because he was on a retainer.

“On Tuesday 17th January 2017, my son and I took a crucial decision to seek sanctuary in the sister Republic of Senegal. This was found necessary due to the mounting fear and rapidly increasing tension at every passing moment,” he wrote.

“The general perception is that after midnight on 18th January 2017, the mandate of President Yahya Jammeh would expire and President-elect Mr. Adama Barrow would be sworn-in as president, in line with the dictates of our constitution. Any attempt to interrupt this ceremony, it is clearly understood, opens the Gambia to attack from ECOWAS forces.

“As a legal practitioner representing President Jammeh and the APRC the party in the ongoing petition filed on his behalf at the Supreme Court of the Gambia, I have to admit that I was working under tremendous pressure and coercion. All the lawyers with established practices in the Gambia refused to be associated with the said petition. As a retainer for the ruling APRC party, I could not refuse the brief on professional grounds, despite my apprehension.”

He said he and his family fled to Senegal having successfully eluded the 24 hour military surveillance he was placed on.

He advised Mr. Jammeh to step down so as to avoid a gruesome end to his presidency and in the interest of peace and the safety of the Gambian people.

“Having fortunately eluded the 24 hour military security around me and my family, I managed to arrive in Senegal where I now gained safety, respite and mental stability. In my present situation, I humbly and respectfully advise President Jammeh as the champion of peace he has been known to be to peacefully step aside in the interest of peace and safety of the Gambian people.

“Everything, except God’s Kingdom, comes to an end. I advocate for a peaceful end rather than a violent and gruesome end. Please in the name of Most Merciful God do not allow your legacy to be described as one where “pen of the sword dipped in innocent blood writes its history on the rough page of tyranny”, he said.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Mr. Jammeh turned down a last ditch effort by the President of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, to convince him to step and aside and rescue him to exile.

Mr Aziz arrived Gambia just as ECOWAS troops prepared for a military action in the country.

Having failed to convince Mr Jammeh to relinquish power, Mr Aziz later left the country for a meeting with Senegalese president Macky Sall and Mr. Barrow, who had been in the Senegalese capital Dakar, after the failure or ECOWAS leaders to convince Mr Jammeh to allow the peace transition of power.


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  • Foreign Bulletin

    “The swearing in of The Gambia’s president-elect, Adama Barrow
    will go ahead today in neighbouring Senegal. A tweet from an account
    managed by Barrow’s staff disclosed that the ceremony will be held at the
    Gambian embassy in Dakar at 16:00 GMT.”

    • Repost by Popular Demand

      ………(2) Why GAMBIA became a military crisis

      General Olusegun Obasanjo, as President of Nigeria, totally messed up the meaning of diplomacy
      by putting the asylee (Charles Taylor) in a security car in Calabar, Cross Rivers state; drove him
      a distance of 1,286 kilometers by road to the borders of Nigeria in the town of Gamboru-Ngala
      in far north-east state of Borno, and told him to escape from there on foot, only for the same
      Nigerian officials to suddenly turn round and arrested Charles Taylor on false charges
      of his “trying to escape”.

      The Nigerian security officials put Charles Taylor under close arrest; virtually shackled him and flew him,
      like a prisoner, to the International Criminal Court, via Liberia. That was the moment Nigeria fell into
      complete and utter disgrace in international circles as a result of Olusegun Obasanjo’s ignorant
      misrule. And now, for real fear of another Nigerian leader following Olusegun Obasanjo’s
      illiterate understanding of diplomacy, the Gambian president chose to dig in
      and fight it out.

      • princegab

        Ecowas should push jammeh out, such a precedence is good for us.

    • Repost by Popular Demand

      Why GAMBIA became a military crisis

      President Yahaya Jameh of The Gambia refused any offer of
      asylum, especially from Nigeria, following Olusegun Obasanjo’s crass,
      uninformed, uneducated and village-level understanding of diplomacy.

      Now reports say
      Nigerians are being laughed off in several diplomatic circles Africa as
      ignorant people usually led by a slew of ignoramuses self-described as
      “statesmen”. The current crisis in The Gambia is being openly ascribed to
      the ignorant leadership of OLUSEGUN OBASANJO of Nigeria who’d set terrible
      precedent of offering asylum under international law (which legal provisions
      Obasanjo himself does not even understand
      ) to the ex-President of Liberia,
      Charles Taylor, only for Olusegun Obasanjo to later set Charles Taylor up for
      arrest and extradition to the International Criminal Court. That was the lowest
      point of disgrace for Nigeria in the history of international affairs.

      • kusanagi

        Agreed.

        But he could easily ask the AU for asylum elsewhere. 50 plus countries in Africa. I’m sure in the interest of peace someone would take him. Ghana, SA, Kenya, etc.

        Part of this is the fact that we’re dealing with a megalomaniac who can’t see himself as a civilian. He’s power drunk.

  • Rommel

    The last political and military actors that would be left with Jammeh now should be considered for trial should there be any fatalities in this episode,this letter has given us an insight into the thinking of the people around Yahya Jammeh,he is now surrounded by the worst forms of sycophants in the Gambia,this is what tribal politics does to a country.

  • realist

    Why is Buhari leading the ECOWAS to wage war at this point. There is no cheap war, war is an expensive enterprise. Nigeria would likely be the highest contributor despite the the recession. But masess are surfering as never before, just one example, cooking gas price has gone beyond the reach of the common people, kerosene is now #300 per litre, wood has been exhausted from the bush. Now if you have food it has become so expensive to cook them. A serious leader would mind the above business first before minding other nations business. But ego of a leader in behalf of a nation that is not his everlasting property is the problem. If Buhari really love the masses as he claims, he can tell other ECOWAS nations that his country is in economics problems thus would not be able to financially involved in the Gambia issue.

  • obiora

    It is not yet over even when Buhari killed Jameh. Even when Jameh is forced out. Let the Court push Jameh out that is Democracy.

  • Olat

    Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable.

  • East west

    Jameh jameh. Your time is up I guess.
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