By Mable Nakibuuka
The Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny Dollow and other Justices of the Supreme Court have refuted allegations that they recently held a secret meeting with President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at State House in a bid to discuss the Presidential Petition that was filed by National Unity Platform leader Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.
Bobi Wine wrote to the Supreme Court last week, asking the Chief Justice Owiny Dollo, Justice Mike Chibita and Justice Ezekiel Kurabiraho Muhanguzi to recuse themselves from the Presidential Petition, citing conflict of interest.
The NUP Principal also revealed that the Chief Justice was not in position to hear the matter fairly because he had recently held a secret meeting with the President, hence he was already biased.
However, the Judiciary, headed by the Chief Justice, has since come out to issue a statement refuting allegations of ever meeting Museveni secretly.
The statement titled ‘Judiciary Leaders Never Met The President Secretly’, which was issued by Solomon Muyita, the Judiciary’s Principal Communications Officer, reads in part thus; “Our attention has been drawn to reports circulating in sections of the media that the Judiciary’s top leaders recently held a secret meeting with the Head of State.
The reports further claim that a police officer has been arrested for leaking CCTV video footage and photographs of the Judiciary leaders’ motorcade driving into and out of the State House, Entebbe, for the alleged secret meeting.
Whereas we cannot comment about the reported arrest of a police officer – for we have no official information to that effect – we would like to clarify that Judiciary’s top leadership never participated in any “secret meeting” with the President
It is public knowledge that Judiciary’s top administration was at State House Entebbe on February 10, 2021, for the swearing-in ceremony of the Hon. Lady Justice Margaret Apiny, a newly appointed Judge of the High Court.
It is a requirement of the law in Schedule to the Oath Act (Section 2 and 3rd Column) for such a Judicial Oath to be taken before the President or any other person authorized by the President.”
The statement continues that; “The Chief Justice Alphonse C. Owiny – Dollo used the occasion to present Judiciary’s Budget estimates for 2021/22 Financial Year to the President as required by the Administration of Judiciary Act, 2020.
It is important to note that this was an official ceremony with the full glare of media coverage – there was nothing secret about it.
It should further be noted that on February 16, 2021, the Chief Justice Owiny – Dollo attended the Janani Luwum Day celebrations at State House Entebbe at the Invitation of the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda. This too was not in secret.
We condemn such falsehoods being published for whatever reasons.”
However, what has shocked many Ugandans is that a police officer was arrested for leaking footage of the Chief Justice’s motorcade driving into and out of State House after the purported meeting, although the Police are yet to reveal the officer who was arrested, what is rank is and what footage he leaked, if the Judiciary did not meet the president secretly, as they insist.
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