Uganda: What to Expect At Bobi Wine Petition Hearing Today

Bobi Wine addresses journalists at his home in Magere, Wakiso District on January 26, 2021.

By Ephraim Kasozi

The Supreme Court will reconvene this morning to hear an application in which the runner-up in the January 14 presidential elections, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, seeks to formally withdraw the petition against president-elect, Yoweri Museveni.

Today's hearing takes place after the withdrawal notice was on Monday published in the government gazette as required under the Presidential Elections Act.

What is expected to happen today is lawyers of Mr Kyagulanyi to officially move court by giving reasons why their client is withdrawing the petition midway.

In turn, the lawyers of the respondents (Mr Museveni, Electoral Commission and Attorney General), will respond to the submissions by Mr Kyagulanyi's lawyers.

All the three respondents have since not objected to the withdrawal of the petition.

However, the issue of costs has to be resolved. The court will have to determine whether Mr Kyagulanyi will pay costs for withdrawing the petition or each party will bear their own costs.

Mr Kyagulanyi's lawyers will then be given opportunity to respond to any new issues that could arise in the course of the submissions of the lawyers for the respondents.

Upon the conclusion of the submissions, a panel of nine justices led by Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo will give their ruling on whether to allow Mr Kyagulanyi's petition to be officially withdrawn or not and who bears the costs of the petition.

The ruling of the justices can be delivered today or deferred to another date at the discretion of court.

Petition withdrawal

Mr Kyagulanyi announced at a press conference in Kampala last month that he had instructed his advocates to withdraw his petition in which he was challenging the victory of President Museveni.

He alleged bias by the justices for having rejected his request to amend the petition and also file additional evidence to strengthen his case and the arrest of his key witnesses as his grounds for withdrawing the petition.

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