By Sania Babirye
The Supreme court has declined to hear an application filed by National Unity Platform party President Robert Kyagulanyi seeking leave to withdraw his Presidential Election petition after his lawyers led by Medard Segona revealed that their practicing certificates had expired and are currently awaiting renewal before the Law Council.
Justice Dollo has now given Segona time to finalize their practicing certificates renewal by 5pm or if they fail to obtain their practicing certificates by 5pm, have the Chief Registrar issue them temporary practicing certificates that expire on the 18th of this March and adjourned the matter to tomorrow morning.
Segona had asked the Chief Justice for guidance over the matter, but the chief justice explained that they could not continue without having valid practicing certificates.
The Chief Justice ruled that Segona and his team could not be allowed to continue since the grace period within which an advocate can be allowed to practice as he awaits the renewal of his licence had expired on the 1st of March.
Segona told court that their practicing licences had expired by end of February and that despite applying for renewal to the Law Council, the Law Council is yet to renew their working certificate.
Segona further says that he realized that their practicing certificates had not renewed on Wednesday evening however, Juustice Dollo wondered why Segona and his team did not take up the matter with the chief registrar to emphasize the urgency of the matter.
On the 24th of February, Kyagulanyi’s lawyers led by Medard Ssegona officially filed before the supreme Court the said application, however, the Chief Justice and also a member on the nine panel bench presiding over the said petition explained that the law requires among other requirements that the said application before it is heard has to be first gazetted.
He then informed all parties that once the gazette is out, then he will notify them on the day for the said application to be heard.
He also ordered all parties including the respondents to file their affidavits by Saturday emphasizing that the process is meant to see that all the necessary legal process of withdrawing an election petition as it is in hearing an election petition is followed.
These in reply did not object to Kyagulanyi’s withdraw application but asked court if it grants the said application to order Kyagulanyi to pay them costs.
Kyagulanyi announced that he had decided to withdraw his election petition because the supreme Court was biased and not independent.
He cites incidences like denying him to amend his petition and bring in fresh evidence, kidnapping, torturing and arresting his witnesses among other alleged injustices.
Kyagulanyi further faults three justices on the panel including the chief justice of bias due to his close relationship with president Museveni including being a lawyer to President Museveni in the 2016 presidential Petition by the then Forum For Democratic change presidential candidate Rtd.Col.Kizza Besigye.
On the 23rd of February, justice Alifonse Owiny Dollo declined to recuse himself from hearing and determine the said election petition after city lawyer Male Mabirizi accused him of being biased on the same reasons and having met president Museveni at state house in Entebbe in an alleged secret meeting which he called unethical.
Mabirizi has since then petitioned the East African Court of Justices seeking for the nullification of the said decision.
Meanwhile, former Presidential candidate Willy Mayambala has also since then written to the chief justice asking him for procedures to inherit the said petition.