Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | City lawyer Male Mabirizi has petitioned the Judicial Service Commission seeking the removal of eight Supreme Court Justices led by Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny- Dollo over alleged misconduct and incompetence.
The justices are Stella Arach Amoko, Faith Mwondha, Opio Aweri, Paul Mugamba, Mike Chibita, Percy Tuhaise and Ezekiel Muhanguzi.
Mabirizi’s move follows Thursday’s incident where the justices allegedly shunned Court as their colleague Justice Dr Esther Kisakye was delivering her dissenting ruling. Her ruling was on an application arising from the presidential election petition filed by former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu challenging the victory of the president-elect and incumbent Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
Mabirizi argues that the justices were part of the nine-member panel that convened to deliver rulings on applications arising from Kyagulanyi’s presidential petition and shortly after 1pm, they adjourned the matter for 30 minutes for them to return and continue giving their rulings.
However, apart from Dr Kisakye, the rest of the Justices did not come back and no reason was advanced.
In his petitions filed separately, Mabirizi also accuses the Supreme Court registrar Harriet Nalukwago Ssali of allegedly acting on unconstitutional orders of the Chief Justice Owiny-Dollo to disconnect microphones, switching off electricity when Justice Kisakye returned to read her ruling. He wants her dismissed.
According to the move, the majority justices damaged the image of the judicial institution hence calling for the removal of the justices. He also accuses them of having conducted themselves in a manner prejudicial to the good image, honour, dignity and reputation of the Judicial Service.
Mabirizi also describes their actions to be amounting to discrimination of Justice Dr Kisakye on basis of her sex contrary to the Code of Judicial Conduct and abuse of judicial authority.
Mabirizi wants quick advice from the President to appoint a Tribunal to investigate the Justices to save the image of the Judiciary.
Ronald Sekagya, the Permanent Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission says that they have received Mabirizi’s petition. He says that the commission has started to investigate the matter.
This is not the first time Mabirizi is petitioning the Judicial Service Commission seeking for removal of Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo from office over alleged misconduct.
On March 5th 2021, he filed a relatively similar petition after Owiny Dollo had declined not to step down from presiding over the proceedings arising from Kyagulanyi’s presidential election petition for having been Museveni’s lawyer yet he was the first respondent to the case.
The investigations into this particular case have since commenced.