Africa

Nigerian legislators debate offering asylum to Gambia leader

FILE- In this Tuesday Nov. 29, 2016 file photo, Gambian officers signal to the media not to block the public's view during President Yahya Jammeh's final rally in Banjul, Gambia. A Gambian court has postponed a decision on the disputed presidential election until next week. The delay of the ruling party's case until Monday, Jan. 16, 2017 sets up a collision course with the opposition, which still plans the inauguration of President-elect Adama Barrow on Jan 19. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)

FILE- In this Tuesday Nov. 29, 2016 file photo, Gambian officers signal to the media not to block the public's view during President Yahya Jammeh's final rally in Banjul, Gambia. A Gambian court has postponed a decision on the disputed presidential election until next week. The delay of the ruling party's case until Monday, Jan. 16, 2017 sets up a collision course with the opposition, which still plans the inauguration of President-elect Adama Barrow on Jan 19. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)  (The Associated Press)

Nigerian legislators are debating whether to offer asylum to Gambia's longtime leader, who is refusing to cede power after losing elections.

Rep. Yisa Orker-Yev told The Associated Press a motion to offer a safe haven to President Yahya Jammeh will be debated later Thursday. It was not clear if Jammeh requested the asylum.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari is leading a committee of the Economic Community of West African States trying to negotiate a diplomatic resolution. The regional bloc also has a military force on standby to intervene if Jammeh does not step down when his mandate expires Jan. 19.

Jammeh initially accepted defeat at Dec. 1 elections, but changed his mind, ordered troops to take over the electoral commission office and is challenging election results at the Supreme Court.