Lawyers representing National Unity Platform’s presidential candidate in the just concluded 2021 election, Robert Kyagulanyi have told court that it is in interest of justice that their application for more time to file additional affidavits is allowed.
Kyagulanyi filed an application seeking court to give him extra time to file additional affidavits in support of his petition challenging President Museveni’s victory in the January,14 polls.
On Friday, the lawyers led by Medard Lubega Sseggona told that allowing the application will enable court to effectively inquire into the petition and also determine questions raised in the case.
“Allowing the application is in the interest of justice. There are special circumstances we want to present to this court to be considered to allow the application. A number of our witnesses we are to rely on were not released on bail by the General Court Martial as we had anticipated,”Sseggona told court on Friday in reference to a group of 36 NUP supporters including Eddie Mutwe and Nubian Li who were denied bail early this week.
“The affidavits reveal how results were falsified, bribery incidents and how the independence of the Electoral Commission was compromised in favour of the first respondent (Museveni).”
The lawyers also argued that some of the evidence they wanted to us in the case were locked in the National Unity Platform offices which they claimed were under siege by security and only moved away on Sunday evening.
The lawyers insisted that this stopped them from preparing their affidavits in time and that it is only prudent that they are accorded more time to file additional affidavits.
“A number of our witnesses who had been abducted were thrown in different places around the country and required us to move up and down to collect affidavits. By closure of business on Sunday, we had been able to collect the affidavits but could not submit them on time.”
Citing an affidavit by fellow lawyer Anthony Wameli, Sseggona said by the time they came to file the affidavits; the court’s gate had been closed and were therefore stopped from filing the affidavits.
However, the Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny Dollo interjected saying that the lawyer was telling lies.
Dollo noted that despite having the stipulated time for filing at 5pm, he extended it by one hour up to 6pm , adding that Kyagulanyi’s lawyers failed to beat the time.
Museveni lawyers respond
In response, Museveni’s lawyers led by Kiryowa Kiwanuka asked court to dismiss the application since it has no merit.
“They said they would file 50 affidavits and additional affidavits but they have delayed filing them. In law, you first get evidence before filing a petition but not filing a petition and later look for evidence. How do you reach a conclusion on would be witnesses if you had not talked to them,”Kiryowa told court.
“They have no special circumstances as they say but what they have a clear lies.”
Representing the Electoral Commission, lawyer Joseph Matsiko said there are many inconsistencies in the arguments by Kyagulanyi’s lawyers, noting that the application should be dismissed.
“They told court last time that they were prepared to continue with the case but what we see is the opposite of the same,”Matsiko said.
The respondents’ lawyers told court that allowing Kyagulanyi’s team file another 200 affidavits would mean that they have no time to respond to them and that this would also eat into the court’s time to decide the petition.
They asked court to dismiss the application.
The court has been adjourned to 4pm to give a ruling in the application.