Lawyers representing Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni in the 2021 presidential election petition have told court that Kyagulanyi wants to take court on a fishing expedition with the new evidence he wants to be admitted.
Kyaguanyi’s lawyers on Tuesday afternoon asked the Supreme Court to allow the petition in which they are seeking to be allowed to table new evidence in the case challenging Museveni’s election.
However, in response, Museveni’s lawyers led by Ebert Byenkya told court that it should not accept to be taken to a fishing expedition by Kyagulanyi yet he had enough time to file the required evidence.
“This court should not allow the applicant take it to a fishing expedition. They are suggesting that you(judges) accompany them to a fishing expedition but the law doesn’t allow that,”Byenkya told court.
The lawyer argued that the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is limited to inquiring into what is the petition but not an inquiry into the general election as had been said by Kyagulanyi’s lawyers.
Byenkya, therefore, averred that it is wrong for the petitioner’s lawyers to argue that by allowing the application for new evidence, the court will have done justice to the case.
No time for new evidence
Museveni’s lawyers led by Byenkya told the panel of nine Justices that the time is so limited to allow for amendment of Kyagulanyi’s petition to include new evidence that had earlier been left out.
The lawyers argued that it is illegal for the lawyers to introduce new grounds after the expiry of the 15 day time limit provided under the Presidential Elections Act.
“The only reason we came to this court(Supreme Court) is because of the time factor. If it was not for time, the case could have been filed at lower courts but also the determination of presidential elections petitions does not provide for amendments,”Byenkya said.
Museveni’s lawyer told court that Kyagulanyi’s petition cannot be allowed to stand because it was done after the expiry of the mandatory 15 days after the election.
Representing the Electoral Commission, lawyer Joseph Matsiko told the court that the application for new evidence cant be allowed since it seeks to introduce new grounds to the case which is not allowed in presidential petitions.
“There are many grounds which they introduced and this is not allowed in laws governing presidential election petitions. More so, amendments that defeat the allowed time frame cannot be allowed,” Matsiko told court.
The lawyers argued that if the application is allowed, it will set a bad precedent to presidential election petitions.
The panel of nine justices of the Supreme Court led by the Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo will rule on the application at 4pm.