Six ministers in Gambia have resigned following outgoing President Yahya Jammeh's refusal to relinquish power. The ministers of finance, foreign affairs, environment and trade tendered their resignations on 17 January, two days before President-elect Adama Barrow is due to be sworn in, Reuters reported.

Earlier in January, the information and sports ministers also quit.

Jammeh, who took power following a bloodless coup in 1994, initially conceded defeat and was due to step down on 18 January at midnight.

However, he now intends to contest the election result at the Supreme Court due to what he claims are "unacceptable abnormalities".

The apex court said it could only hear Jammeh's case about the election in May or even November, due to a lack of judges available to hear the case.

Chief Justice decided he will not rule on an injunction seeking to stop Barrow's inauguration. The injunction was filed by the ruling party Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC).

Barrow, who will remain in Senegal until the day of his inauguration, told IBTimes UK he considered himself the "rightful leader" of the country.

A delegation of West African leaders, led by Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari, has failed to persuade Jammeh to step down.

Nigeria's House of Representatives approved a motion, not binding on the government, to grant asylum to Jammeh as long as he steps down when his term expires.

Meanwhile, reports warned Gambians were fleeing to neighbouring nations, fearing the country's political impasse will escalate into violence.

Jammeh's U-turn has sent shock waves across Gambia and the region, with growing tensions exacerbated by the chief of army's decision to pledge loyalty to Jammeh instead of Barrow.

Nigeria and other countries in the region are preparing a joint force for a military intervention in Gambia, a Nigerian military spokesperson told Reuters.

It is yet unclear what will happen on 19 January.