Gambian President Yahya Jammeh [BBC profile] on Thursday filed [AFP report] for an injunction asking the Supreme Court to bar the swearing-in of president-elect, Adama Barrow [BBC profile]. Barrow’s office responded to the injunction request with a statement that Jammeh could not exceed his five-year mandate. In an attempt to avoid a political crisis, lawmakers in Nigeria said their president, Muhammadu Buhari [BBC profile], shoulder consider offering asylum to Jammeh. Buhari did not respond but he is expected to travel to Banjul on Friday for talks. In a broadcast on state-run television Tuesday, Jammeh warned the international community about interfering with The Gambia’s election process by lashing out against “an unprecedented level of foreign interference in our elections and internal affairs and also a sustained smear campaign, propaganda and misinformation.”
Jammeh’s request for injunction comes in response to the Supreme Court delaying [JURIST report] the suit filed after the December 1 election. Last month Jammeh said that he would challenge the election results before his country’s Supreme Court [JURIST report]. In November Human Rights Watch reported that intimidation of opposition leaders was threatening [JURIST report] a fair election in Gambia. This report came after the Gambian government announced that it would be leaving [JURIST report] the International Criminal Court (ICC). During the televised statement, Information Minister Sheriff Bojang criticized the court for ignoring western atrocities, referring to the ICC as “an International Caucasian Court.” Jammeh had previously called upon the court to investigate the death of African migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to access Europe. Instead, Gambia alleges, the ICC has been disproportionately scrutinizing African leaders. Gambia’s intended departure was the third by an African nation.