There was drama in court on Friday afternoon when Justice Musa Ssekaana and lawyers representing presidential hopeful, Lt.Gen.Henry Tumukunde were involved in a verbal exchange in court.
The drama started when Justice Ssekaana dismissed an application in which Tumukunde’s lawyers led by Anthony Wameli sought to have the CID director, AIGP Grace Akullo summoned for cross –examination over her affidavit.
The ruling didn’t augur well with the lawyers who asked court to allow them withdraw their case against the Attorney General and take on AIGP Akullo personally in a case where Tukumunde seeks orders to declare arrest threats by the Police Criminal Investigations Division against him illegal.
“We have instructions to withdraw the case against the Attorney General. We want to court with proceedings against the second respondent (Grace Akullo) only,” Wameli told the judge.
However, in response, the judge said the lawyers are free to do so but noted they can only do so officially and asked that the continue continues with the application in which they sought for a temporary injunction against CID’s criminal summons against Tumukunde.
Verbal exchange ensues
A verbal exchange then ensued as the lawyers insisted on not proceeding without talking to their client, Lt.Gen.Henry Tumukunde on what to do next whereas the judge insisted that they can submit on why they want a temporary injunction against the police summons.
Wameli told the judge that he could not continue without consulting their client first but according to the judge, the lawyers could first argue the instant case and then talk to their client.
“I don’t want this unnecessary drama. I don’t want it to look like a circus hall. If you don’t want to proceed, withdraw the application,” the visibly angry Ssekaana said.
“We are withdrawing the application against the Attorney General and proceed with AIGP Akullo. We first want to communicate to our client,” Geoffrey Turyamusiima, another lawyer on Tumukunde’s team said.
Lawyer Wameli accused the judge of being biased for not allowing them give him reasons for withdrawing their case against the Attorney General.
“In light of the ruling you have made, we are not ready to proceed,”Wameli said.
Attorney General lawyers
On their part, Attorney General’s lawyers led by the Commissioner in the Directorate of Civil Litigation, George Kalemera told court that they are ready to proceed with the case.
“We have been ready since September, 2, 2020 when the matter came to court. It is however clear that the applicants (Tumukunde’s lawyers) are not interested in the application,”Kalemera said.
The visibly irritated Ssekaana made directive that he will proceeding to give a ruling in the application for the temporary injunction as sought for by Tumukunde’s lawyers, despite refusal to argue their case in court.
“Since you are not ready to proceed with the application by way of making submissions, court shall proceed to make determination in the matter and will deliver the ruling on September ,14, 2020 via email,”Ssekaana said.
The judge also directed Tumukunde’s lawyers to file written submission in the main case by September 25 whereas the Attorney General’s side has been asked to file their defence by October 2,2020 before court gives its judgement on October,23,2020 via email.
Presidential aspirant and former Security Minister, Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde run to court to challenge Police’s criminal summons against him.
In the suit in which the Attorney General and CID director AIGP Grace Akullo are listed as respondents, Tumukunde avers that summons issued to him are not justifiable or acceptable in a free and democratic society and therefore an infringement on his rights.
“The applicant seeks a declaration that the summons dated August,18,2020 and contents therein issued by the second respondent(CID) to the applicant or the act of summoning the applicant to the Criminal Investigations Directorate(CID) offices is a violation is a threat to the applicant’s fundamental rights guaranteed under the 1995 constitution,” the court documents say.
He says the summons are an infringement to his right to personal liberty, freedom of expression, freedom of association and the right to participate in the affairs of governance in accordance with the law.
“A declaration that the summons issued by the second respondent to the applicant to the Criminal Investigations Directorate(CID) offices amounts to political persecution.”
He wants court to order government to pay him shs70 million in general damages for its high handedness and fragrant breach of the law.