Lawyer Male Mabirizi has protested against the move by the DPP to take over criminal proceedings against the Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo over his conduct during the ruling on Robert Kyagulanyi ‘s withdrawn petition challenging President Museveni’s election.
There was drama at the Supreme Court when Justice Esther Kisakye accused the Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny Dollo of confiscating her file before she read her ruling on Kyagulanyi ‘s withdrawn petition challenging President Museveni’s election.
More drama ensued when the public address system and lights were switched off as Justice Kisakye proceeded to address the press after the other members of the panel of nine justices of the Supreme Court refused to return as had been agreed.
Mabirizi early this week instituted private criminal proceedings against Dollo for showing disrespect in manner to court proceedings and causing obstruction in the course of a judicial proceeding when he allegedly ordered the confiscation of Lady Justice Esther Kisakye’s case file last week.
The lawyer took to court the criminal case but on Tuesday, the Director of Public Prosecutions indicated that he had taken over the case.
“The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions under Article 120(3) ( c ) of the of the 1995 Constitution and Section 43(1) (a) of the Magistrates Act cap 16 has decided to take over and continue criminal proceedings instituted by Male Mabirii against Hon Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo effective immediately,” a letter by Joan Keko, the Resident Chief State Attorney for Buganda Road where the case was filed wrote on Monday.
According to the DPP, Mabirizi is now required to hand over all information including evidence and documents in the case to enable the state carries out successful prosecution for Dollo.
Mabirizi drags feet
However, in response to the DPP, Mabirizi says that the letter is null and void since there is no DPP after a recent judgment in which the Constitutional Court ruled that it is illegal for a judge to be appointed to any executive or constitutional office and that assuming the position without first resigning as judges is illegal.
“Justice Jane Frances Abodo ceased being DPP on March 18 2021 unless there is proof of resignation from her judicial office hence Keko Joan cannot act in a vacuum. Consequently, please issue the warrant of arrest I applied for so that we can have expeditious hearing since the letter by Keko is null and void for absence of a Director of Public Prosecutions whom she purports to act for,”Mabirizi says in a letter to the Buganda Road Chief Magistrate where the case was filed.
Mabirizi also says that it undermines the powers and independence of court for the DPP to try to take over matters without court’s approval.