Segona to Dollo: Let every party bear its own legal costs

By Sania Babirye

Lawyers representing National Unity Platform Party President in his ongoing application to withdraw his Presidential election Petition asks Supreme court to order all parties to bear their own costs.

The law governing the Presidential Election act states that if any petitioner withdraws his petition, then he must pay costs to the respondents.

However, Kyagulanyi’s lawyers led by Medard Segona, have told a panel of nine justices of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Alfonse Owinyi Dollo this morning that, although awarding costs is at the court’s discretion, but he is praying that the court doesn’t award any costs to the respondents but each party bears their own costs for the application and petition.

The respondents including President Museveni, the Electoral commission and the Attorney General told court that although they do not object to Kyagulanyi’s withdraw application, however, they should be paid costs for all the financial expenses they have already incurred.

On the 24th of February, Kyagulanyi’s lawyers led by Medard Segona 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 its heard has to be first gazetted before it can be heard.

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.

Kyagulanyi 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.