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Mabirizi seeks interim injunction against EC boss

FILE PHOTO: Justice Byabakama

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Hassan Male Mabirizi has filed an application seeking interim orders compelling the Electoral Commission chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama to step aside pending the disposal of his main application challenging his reign on the Commission.

In his application filed before the Court Civil Division at Twed Towers on Monday, Mabirizi says Byabakama shouldn’t continue conducting business on behalf of the Commission yet his position is being challenged.

In August this year, Mabirizi filed a suit against Byabakama and the Attorney General. In his suit Mabirizi challenged Byabakama appointment as Electoral Commission chairperson without resigning as a Court of Appeal judge.

Fourteen members of the self-proclaimed People’s Government led by City Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago also filed a similar suit in November that was merged with the one of Mabirizi.

According to Mabirizi, the main case against Byabakama is likely to take longer because they are still searching for more evidence against him.

Mabirizi further argues that in the event that court rules that Byabakama is holding the office illegally, it would make all his activities questionable.

He also says there is a conflict of interest on the part of the presiding judge Musa Ssekaana, who he says shouldn’t be hearing the case having worked as Commission lawyer.

On December 18th, 2019, Mabirizi had a bitter exchange with Justice Sekaana in open court when he declined to summon Justice Byabakama for cross examination.

It came after Justice Sekaana said the applicant failed to make a case for his court to exercise its discretion to summon, Byabakama for cross examination.

Mabirizi asked the judge to step down from the case, saying he had worked as a Commissioner lawer, which casts doubt on his impartiality.

There is also an ongoing case at the East African Court of Justice on the same matter filed by Mabirizi.

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