Bobi Wine Yet to Instruct Lawyers to Ask Judges Out Of His Election Petition Case

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Former National Unity Platform-NUP party presidential candidate Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert is yet to give instructions to his lawyers to ask three Justices of the Supreme Court to excuse themselves from his petition challenging the election of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.  

On Tuesday while addressing a press conference at his party’s headquarters at Kamwokya in Kampala, Kyagulanyi said he was uncomfortable with the Chief Justice Alphonso Owinyi-Dollo, and two other Justices for presiding over his case because of their previous relationship with Museveni who is the first respondent.

Dollo and Justice Mike Chibiita have in the past worked as a minister and private secretary to the president respectively. Dollo was also part of the legal team that represented Museveni in the Electoral Petition of 2006 in which Dr Kizza Besigye who was the runner-up in that year’s election challenged Museveni’s victory.

On the other hand, it’s said that Justice Ezekiel Muhanguzi is a close relative to Gen Elly Tumwine, the minister for Security. Kyagulanyi used his Tuesday press conference to ask the three justices to excuse themselves from the case.

Normally the procedure is if a petitioner is not comfortable with a particular judge presiding over their case, they formally file an application asking that particular judge to excuse himself/herself.

However, Medard Sseggona Lubega, the leader of the legal team said they are yet to receive instructions.

Kyagulanyi also castigated the Supreme Court for refusing to accept his application seeking to amend his electoral petition arguing that it was filed out of time. He was also unhappy that the court had declined to receive more than 150 affidavits supporting their application still on the ground of filling it out of time.

All this, Kyagulanyi said are indicators of the unfairness of the court. However, some observers blamed the failure of his legal team to stick to the strict time frame set by the court for their activities.

Male Mabirizi who has also filed an application demanding that Dollo withdraws from the case said that when the system is unfair, you must not allow it to explain its unfairness. “Don’t allow them to give what would sound as reasonable grounds for committing that unfairness,” Mabirizi said. However, Sseggona says whoever accuses them of not doing a good job doesn’t appreciate the conditions under which they are working.

Officials at NUP are also not bent on criticizing their legal team. They too believe that they are operating under constraining circumstances. Joel Ssenyonyi, the NUP Spokesperson said that the State has made it increasingly impossible for them to file a solid case.

Meanwhile, Ssenyonyi said the party held a meeting with their legal team and resolved that it should be only Sseggona to speak to the public about the case. He said although their team has got more than five lawyers, all of them speaking about the case in the media may lead to an unnecessary contradiction.

Tomorrow the Supreme Court is going to hear Kyagulanyi’s application seeking leave of court to file more than 150 affidavits which were rejected last week for being filed out of time.