The leader of the National Unity Platform (NUP) Mr Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine has instructed his lawyers to withdraw the presidential poll petition which he had filed in the Supreme Court, challenging President Museveni's victory in the January 14 general election.
“We are withdrawing from the courts but we are not opting for violence. We are withdrawing the case from Mr Owiny Dollo's court,” Bobi Wine, who has accused some judges of the court of being biased, said as he announced the withdrawal of his petition.
Bobi Wine’s petition withdrawal comes a day after President Museveni, Electoral Commission and Attorney General filed their 185 affidavits in response to the 53 grounds that NUP legal team had raised to prove that the election was rigged, and wasn't free and fair.
On Sunday, lawyers of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) said that Bobi Wine faces heavy financial implications if he dares to withdraw the petition challenging Mr Museveni’s victory from the Supreme Court.
Mr Oscar Kihika, the director of the NRM legal department, told journalists at the weekend that the party will ask Bobi Wine to pay all the expenses the party incurred in preparation and responding to the election petition.
“I hope his [Kyagulanyi] lawyers are advising him about this action of his because to withdraw the petition, there are specific provisions to be considered. So his casual remarks, if they are true, then they should realise that it is not a simple thing,” Mr Kihika said at the NRM party secretariat offices in Kampala.
“So this decision has to be taken not lightly. Obviously if he withdraws, he can be rest assured that as lawyers for the respondents we shall go after Hon Kyagulanyi for the costs if he chooses to take that course [of action]. That is for sure,” he added.
Sunday Monitor revealed that Bobi Wine was mulling over whether to withdraw or continue with the election petition.
Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo and two justices of the Supreme Court last week refused to recuse themselves from hearing the petition as Bobi Wine had requested.
In a telephone interview, Mr Anthony Wameli, one of Bobi Wine's lawyers, revealed that his client would be willing and ready to cover the said costs if the petition was withdrawn.
“That is a given; [that] once a matter is withdrawn, there are costs and one is expected to pay. I don’t think my client has a problem with paying the costs. My client [Kyagulanyi] is aware of it,” Mr Wameli said.
"We are not worried about the costs because ultimately, we have been paying the price ever since we decided to challenge Pres Museveni, look at how many lives we have lost," NUP spokesman, Mr Joel Ssenyonyi said. "What is more expensive than life?"