The Dakar High Court ruled on the appeal of Ousmane SONKO’s lawyers against his dismissal this Tuesday, December 12, 2023. The different parties to the trial each pleaded for four hours and fifteen minutes of time (04h 15mn) for a total of 08h 30mn of pleading.
After the decision of the Supreme Court of November 17, 2023 annulling the decision of October 12, 2023 of Judge Sabassy FAYE of the Ziguinchor district court, the hearing was convened today at the Dakar courthouse. In the pleadings, Ousmane Sonko’s lawyers demonstrated irregularities before the president of the Dakar court. According to Me Khady Camara, “the foreclosure of Ousmane Sonko’s request, desired by the judicial agent of the State, cannot succeed because (his) client did not have the duly signed act of notification but was based on the theory of knowledge acquired following the interview with the then Minister of Justice Ismaïla Madior FALL given to the newspaper Jeune Afrique.
During his pleading, Me Macodou Diouf went further and revealed that there is not a decision to strike out in the file. “There is no decision to delist, he insists before specifying that, the bailiff if he did not intend to harm the interests of Ousmane SONKO was going to go to the Sebikotane remand center to submit the information letter to the registry of the MAC of Sébikotane. The black dress notes that there were irregularities in the notification”because the bailiff must not file the notification at the sub-prefecture of Dakar Plateau but rather at the sub-prefecture of Ngor Almadies where the Cité Keur Gorgui depends.»
Speaking, the coordinator of Ousmane Sonko’s pool of lawyers first drew the judge’s attention to his responsibility. “I trust you and you know the responsibility that weighs on you. There are thousands of young people languishing in prison for crimes of opinion because of their desire for change. Let us not sacrifice our destiny. Mr. President, we must speak the law. The state’s judicial agent defied Senegalese justice by refusing to execute the decision of judge Sabassy FAYE whom he described as being the relative of a member of the PASTEF les patriotes party. This refusal by the State judicial agent is followed up to the General Directorate of Elections which has always refused to hand over the sponsorship forms to the representative of the candidate Ousmane Sonko. The autonomous national electoral commission which was contacted in turn ordered the submission of the sponsorship forms to the SONKO agent. But, this commission was immediately blocked by presidential decree terminating the function of the President and its members..”
Continuing his argument, the lawyer said that “the government and its supporters shout loud and clear that “force remains with the law” but they always come back to defy these same laws. We need a minimum of balance between citizens, Mr. President. The Ousmane SONKO affair mobilizes the entire Republic and he speaks of an ordinary affair by bunkering the court.” For Me Saïd Larifou there is a desire to prevent a political opponent from exercising his political rights. According to the lawyer from the Moroni bar, certain state agents are demolishing the rule of law in Senegal.
Speaking about his participation in this case, the State judicial agent justified his position and insisted that “(his) intervention in this case is legitimate to defend the interests of the State of Senegal”.
For Me Adama Fall, lawyer for the State of Senegal, “the court must rule on the foreclosure of Ousmane SONKO who says he is not aware of his removal from the electoral register.” According to him, “the decision to delist has been available since August 2, 2023 while Ousmane SONKO’s lawyers waited until October 12 to appeal on the basis of the theory of acquired knowledge.” According to him, “itThis theory cannot prevail to the extent that the cancellation is published in the official journal of the Republic of Senegal.”
Me Ndeye Anta Mbaye, for her part, argued for the inadmissibility of Ousmane SONKO’s action. According to this other lawyer from the State of Senegal, “Sonko is deprived of his rights because he did not respect the deadline.” Referring to the provisions of articles 821, 822 and 823 of the code of criminal procedure, she stated that “the bailiff is not obliged to hand over the notification document to Ousmane SONKO and it is not the latter who must determine his last known residence.
For his part, Me Diagne regretted the motivations which led to the overturning of the decision of Judge Sabassy FAYE. For him, “Judge Ciré Aly Ba overturned Sabassy FAYE’s decision because the latter added elements to the law that are not there.” This motivated the supreme court to annul its decision rendered on October 12 in Ziguinchor. After listening at length to both parties to the trial, the judge of the Dakar High Court placed the case under advisement on December 14, 2023.