Supreme Court throws out lawyer’s Shs7.6b claim

Friday March 30 2012

By EPHRAIM KASOZI

The Supreme Court has dismissed a Shs7.6 billion claim by city advocate Joseph Byamugisha for work done in connection with National Social Security Fund’s appeal against a Shs22b contract to Alcon International.

The claim was part of the Shs31.2 billion bill that Dr Byamugisha handed the Fund for legal services rendered in a case over construction of Workers House over a period of 14 years.
Through his lawyers MMAKS Advocates, the lawyer listed client bills before various courts, for instruction and acting as lead counsel for NSSF.

Supreme Court Registrar John Baptist Sseggirinya dismissed Dr Byamugisha’s application citing lack of jurisdiction to handle the matter.

Exaggerated
Mr Sseggirinya explained that the lawyer is not without remedy because he could bring a suit to recover costs including those arising from all the lower courts.

The court decision was prompted by an objection by NSSF through their attorneys Kasirye, Byaruhanga and Co. Advocates challenging the powers of the Supreme Court and the Registrar to assess the validity of Dr Byamugisha’s demand as the practice render the function to the High Court Registrar.

In May 2010, Dr Byamugisha was unceremoniously withdrawn as the Fund’s external lawyer handling the Alcon case and replaced by Kenyan lawyer Prof. Githu Muigai, who also withdrew from the case after he was appointed Kenyan Attorney General. The NSSF legal team is currently led by Mr Godfrey Lule.

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