The Supreme Court has adjourned to at least next week to be able to hear an application in which National Unity Platform leader Robert Kyagulanyi also known as Bobi Wine is seeking to withdraw his petition challenging President Museveni’s victory.
Kyagulanyi on Wednesday morning formally filed an application to court seeking to withdraw his petition challenging the election of President Museveni in the January,14 polls citing bias by the court.
When the case came up for pre-hearing, Kyagulanyi’s lawyers led by Medard Sseggona informed court that their client had asked them to withdraw the petition.
In response, the panel of nine justices of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny Dollo asked the lawyers whether they had fulfilled all the requirements for withdrawal of the petition but it was found out that some of the steps had not been adhered to.
Whereas the lawyers had filed Kyagulanyi’s affidavit supporting his withdrawal of the petition, they had not filed one for the lead lawyer as required by the rules in accordance with the Presidential Elections Act 2005.
“We shall file the additional affidavit by close of business today,”Sseggona told the court.
Hurdles involved in the application
Consequently, the Chief Justice directed that the respondents including Yoweri Museveni, Electoral Commission and the Attorney General file their responses to the application by Friday, February 26 and Kyagulanyi’s lawyers will file a rejoinder if any, by Saturday, 27, February.
Dollo however told the two parties that the court will have to wait for the process of filing a notice of intention to withdraw the petition by the court’s registrar and later wait for the same to be gazetted.
Gazetting and publishing the application according to the Chief Justice is meant to inform the public of the decision by the petitioner to withdraw the petition and this might take a little bit longer than expected.
Dollo noted that if all this process is done before this week ends, the court will then proceed hear the application to withdraw the petition next week, before later coming up with a ruling on the same.
The case has therefore been adjourned indefinitely, awaiting the outcome of the process to gazette the application.
In his application for withdrawal of the petition, Kyagulanyi informed court that his witnesses were abducted, tortured and intimidated by security agencies including the police whereas others are being investigated.
“The petitioner lost time during the illegal house detention but this honourable court is more inclined towards the strict timelines which has disadvantaged the petitioner to the advantage of the respondents,” Kyagulanyi said.
“After deeply reflecting upon the foregoing circumstances, I reached a decision that withdrawing the instant petition is the right thing to do since this court is not handling the petition with the independence, impartiality and equality I expected of it.”