Thursday May 15 2014

Kanyeihamba sues rebel MPs over Shs300m fees

L-R: MPs Wilfred Niwagaba, Theodore Ssekikubo

L-R: MPs Wilfred Niwagaba, Theodore Ssekikubo and Barnabas Tinkasiimire speak with Prof George Kanyeihamba during a recent court hearing. PHOTO BY FAISWAL KASIRYE 


Former Supreme Court judge George Kanyeihamba has dragged four expelled NRM legislators to court for allegedly failing to pay him legal fees amounting to Shs300 million after he rendered to them professional legal services.

Prof Kayeihamba claims to have been the lead counsel in defending Mr Theodore Ssekikubo, Mr Barnabas Tinkasiimire, Mr Wilfred Niwagaba and Muhammed Nsereko before the Constitutional Court. The four MPs were challenging a move seeking to kick them out of Parliament following their expulsion from their party over alleged indiscipline.

“The respondents (rebel MPs) instructed the applicant (Kanyeihamba & Co. advocates) to represent them in the constitutional petitions 16 and 21 of 2003 and constitutional applications No.14 and 23 of 2003 in the consideration of normal professional fees,” read Kanyeihamba’s suit he filed yesterday at the Civil Division of the High Court in Kampala.

The suit added: “The applicant (Kanyeihamba and Co Advocates) invoiced the respondents (rebel MPs) for the professional legal services rendered but the respondents failed/refused to pay for the legal services,”
The money he is demanding the MPs includes instruction fees, perusal fees, fees for drawing and preparing answers to the petitions, and fees for hours of court attendance, among others.

The former judge says he served the MPs with the bill of costs on February 11 but they have refused to pay him.

When contacted, Mr Nsereko denied ever having instructed Prof Kanyeihamba to represent him personally in court. He said his lawyers were from Lukwago and Co. Advocates, before referring us to Mr Tinkasiimire and Mr Ssekikubo, whom he said instructed Prof Kanyeihamba but under pro bono arrangements.

Efforts to reach the duo MPs were futile as Mr Ssekikubo did not pick our repeated calls and Mr Tinkasiimire was reportedly out of the country.
Court is yet to summon the four MPs to respond to the claims before a hearing date is fixed.

Throughout the hearing of the cases, there were misunderstandings between the MPs’ lawyers and Prof Kanyeihamba, who even at one time stormed out of a session.