Museveni, EC respond to Bobi election petition withdrawal

Sunday February 28 2021
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Lead lawyer of former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, Medard Sseggona (2nd left) in a discussion with others lawyers at the Supreme Court in Kampala on February 12 before his client applied to withdraw the election petition. PHOTO/ABUBAKER LUBOWA.

By Ephraim Kasozi
By Anthony Wesaka

By close of court business last Friday, the three respondents in the presidential poll petition lodged by Mr Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, had in their respective responses, not objected to move to have the said petition withdrawn.

The three respondents are president-elect Museveni, the Electoral Commission (EC) and the Attorney General.

The respondents stated that Mr Kyagulanyi was not corruptly influenced by any of them in exchange for withdrawing his petition.
“I know that the 3rd respondent (AG), has not executed any agreement or terms of any kind with the applicant/petitioner (Mr Kyagulanyi) regarding the proposed withdrawal of the presidential election petition,” the Deputy Attorney General, Mr Jackson Kafuuzi stated .

Section 61 of the Presidential Elections Act demands that for one to withdrawal a presidential poll petition, all parties involved have to swear affidavits stating how they did not engage in any form of corruption as a trigger to the withdrawal.

Last week, Mr Kyagulanyi announced that he had instructed his lawyers to withdrawal his petition, citing frustration by the Supreme Court justices.He said he was instead heading to the court of public opinion.

Also in their responses, the EC tells court that they have since incurred heavy costs after hiring two top law firms to represent them.

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“I know that after being served with the petition, the 2nd respondent (EC), engaged advocates of Kampala Associated Advocates and Okello Oryem & Co. Advocates and has incurred significant and substantial costs,” Mr Stephen Tashobya, a commissioner with EC, states.

“The 2nd respondent has prepared, filed and served 79 affidavits in reply to the petitioner’s affidavits,” he adds.
Mr Museveni in his affidavit affidavit sworn in by Mr Oscar Kihika, the director of legal affairs at the NRM secretariat, said there was no kind of agreement to have the petition withdrawn.

Mr Museveni also accuses Mr Kyagulanyi of exhibiting disrespectful conduct to the Supreme Court.

He contends that Mr Kyagulanyi made false claims that the withdrawal of the petition was based on refusal of the judges to disqualify themselves from the case, among other desparaging remarks.

“I know that the applicant conducted himself with total lack of decoram and with contempt of this court when he participated in an interview that I listened to on BBC World Service radio, where the applicant stated to the international audience that his motive for going to court was to expose lack of independence and bias of this court and he was now taking the matter to the court of public opinion,” reads the sworn statement.

With the filing in of the responses by the three respondents, the court is now left with the gazetting of Mr Kyagulanyi’s withdraw application in the government Gazette before the nine justices can reconvene to hear his application.

Mr Kyagulanyi had in his application to withdrawal the petition last week listed several reasons as to why he has taken that path.
They included court rejecting amendment to his petition and arrest of his key witnesses.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com 

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