Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Attorney General has asked High Court to reject an application by presidential aspirant Retired Lt General Henry Tumukunde seeking to forward a file challenging the Criminal Investigations Department’s summons to the Constitutional Court for interpretation.
In August 2020, Tumukunde through his lawyers led by Anthony Wameli sued the Attorney General and CID director Grace Akullo challenging her August 17, 2020, summons which required him to appear at Kibuli to record a statement.
In the summons, the Directorate wrote that they are investigating allegations to the effect that on several occasions, at his office and residence both in Kololo and other locations within the country, Tumukunde held meetings with army veterans discussing issues related to politics.
However, Tumukunde challenged the summons arguing they tantamount to a violation of his constitutional right to liberty and freedom of association. Among other grounds, Tumukunde also noted that there is a looming arrest based on the said summons which he argued did not specify whether he is to appear as a suspect or witness.
He asked the court to quash the summons in questionsaying that they violate his constitutional right to liberty.
However during hearing of the case, Tumukunde, through his lawyer Wameli lost interest against the Attorney General and asked the trial Judge Musa Ssekaana to drop the Attorney General from the list of the respondents so that Akullo can remain alone on the case.
Tumukunde’s lawyers wanted Akullo to specifically appear in person and justify why she was being represented by the Attorney General’s lawyers yet she had been sued in her individual capacity.
However, Justice Ssekaana dismissed their request which forced them to file before him another application asking him to forward the file to the constitutional court for interpretation of some constitutional questions.
Tumukunde’s lawyers demanded that the constitutional court interprets whether a person seeking to enforce his or her rights under article 50 clause one of the Constitution can be forced to sue or maintain a suit against the Attorney General or any other person and whether the constitutional powers of the Attorney General include representing individuals sued in their individual capacities among other questions.
However, in a response that has been brought to the High Court today, the Attorney General through an affidavit of Senior State Attorney Emelda Adongo opposes the application.
Adongo states that she understands Tumukunde’s application and it is not having any serious purpose or value, lacks merit and also it is an abuse of court process and therefore, it should be dismissed with costs.
Adongo contends that the Constitution grants the Attorney General powers to represent government and its allied institutions including employees.
In line with that, the Attorney General states that there is nothing Constitutional in Tumukunde’s application that needs interpretation by the constitutional court and therefore the High Court can properly address his issues. The Attorney General wants the application to be dismissed.
The matter was coming up for hearing today. However, the trial Judge was not around as he is reportedly unwell and it was pushed to October 30, 2020 in the presence of both parties.
The Attorney General was represented by Principal State Attorney Richard Adrole and Tumukunde by his lawyers Anthony Wameli and Geoffrey Turyamusiima.
According to Tumukunde’s lawyer Anthony Wameli, the adjournment of the case will continue to make his client live in fear as he is going to be nominated early next month and the application may not have been disposed of by then thus his client may be arrested.