Uganda: CJ Tells Bobi Lawyers to Renew Practicing Certificates, Adjourns Petition Hearing

By Ephraim Kasozi

The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned hearing of 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.

Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo who is leading the panel of nine judges, was forced to adjourned the scheduled hearing to tomorrow (March 5) at 9am to give time to Mr Kyagulanyi's lawyers to renew their practicing certificates which expired on March 1.

This was after Mr Kyagulanyi's lead lawyer in the petition, Mr Medard Sseggona, sought the advice of court saying his practicing certificate and those of his team expired, and the issuance of new ones had been delayed.

In response, Attorney General, Mr William Byahuranga, who is one of the respondents, was okay with Mr Sseggona to proceed with the matter despite his practicing certificate not being renewed, citing the importance and the limited time lines that they have to dispose off the petition.

"We are going to suggest that if the court deems it fit, we have no problem with adjournment so that the Sseggonas finish with their practicing certificates," Mr Byaruhanga said.

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Consequently, Justice Owiny-Dollo said: "We give you up to 5pm today to finish with your practicing certificate with the Chief Registrar. In case the process is long, you can be given a temporary practicing certificate which expire on March 18."

The Supreme Court had reconvened Thursday morning to hear an application which seeks to formally withdraw the petition against president-elect, Yoweri Museveni.

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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