The panel of nine justices of the Supreme Court will today hear an application by National Unity Platform leader, Robert Kyagulanyi also known as Bobi Wine in which he seeks to withdraw his petition challenging President Museveni’s election.
Kyagulanyi, the runner-up in the January 14 polls petitioned the Supreme Court challenging the outcome of the polls saying there were a number of irregularities occasioned by the Electoral Commission and the incumbent, President Museveni.
He consequently asked the court to annul the election and order for fresh polls.
However, in a twist of events, Kyagulanyi instructed his lawyers to withdraw the 2021 poll petition accusing the court of not putting in place grounds favorable for his petition to succeed.
Kyagulanyi reasoned that it was wrong to be denied more time to file additional evidence in form of affidavits but also to amend his petition.
The runner-up in the January 14 polls argues that procedural rules governing presidential election petitions have been applied to disadvantage him in such a way that he was denied time to amend his petition and being stopped from filing additional evidence.
“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,” he says.
“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.”
The panel of nine justices led by Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo will sit today at 9:30am to hear submissions from Kyagulanyi’s lawyers led by Medard Sseggona on the application to withdraw the petition before coming up with a ruling.
The lawyers representing the three respondents including President Museveni, Electoral Commission and the Attorney General last week said they have no issue with Kyagulanyi withdrawing the petition but noted the reasons he gave for the same are mere allegations.
“It is not true as alleged by Robert Kyagulanyi that in previous election petitions, parties were given free rein to produce evidence throughout the trial. I know in the presidential election petition in 2016, court gave definite deadlines for the filing of evidence,” the lawyers said.
“The applicant conducted himself with total lack of decorum and with contempt of this court when he held a press conference to announce his decision to withdraw the petition, falsely claiming that his decision was based on the recusal of the three justices of this honorable court to recuse them yet no recusal application had been made by the applicant. The applicant in the same press conference made disparaging remarks on the justices of this honorable court.”