By Buba Gagigo
Justice Basiru V.P Mahoney has ruled that the Mayor of Banjul Rohey Lowe has no powers under The Gambian law to issue attestation to the people of Banjul in the just concluded general voter registration.
The court also ruled that the action of the IEC in conferring the power on the mayor of Banjul to issue attestation contravened the Elections Act.
Justice Basiru V.P Mahoney concluded by emphasizing that there is no carte blanche or free hand for public bodies and authorities to perform their functions. They’re required to act within the law, intro vires, and not outside the law or ultra vires. This accords with the doctrine of separation of powers and rule of law.
In light of the above, the following declarations are hereby made:
“It is declared that the actions of the mayor of Banjul in issuing attestation to the constituents of the city of Banjul in the Independent Electoral Commission general voter registration exercise are in contravention of Section 12(2) (e) of the Elections Act.
“It is also declared that the action of the Independent Electoral Commission in conferring the power to the Office of the Mayor of Banjul in administer attestation forms generated by the IEC for the purpose of claiming voter cards in the city of Banjul are in contravention of Section 12(2)(e) of the Elections Act,” Justice Basiru V.P Mahoney ruled on Tuesday.
The judge asked the Mayor, Attorney General and the IEC to pay D20, 000 to Gambia Participate, Center for Research and Policy Development and the Councillor of Box Bar ward.
The two Civil Society groups –The Gambia Participate, Center for Research and Policy Development and the Councillor of Box Bar ward in Banjul had last month sued the Mayor of the city, the IEC and the Attorney General arguing that the Mayor was acting unlawfully by issuing attestation in Banjul.