“It is hereby agreed as follows: That Civil Suit No. 34 of 2021 against the defendants herein be and is hereby withdrawn unconditionally. That each party bears its own costs,” the withdrawal notice read in part.
Courtesy photo of Bishop elect Rev Geoffrey Loum
aggrieved members of the laity have
withdrawn their court case seeking to stop the consecration of Rev. Geoffrey
Loum as 8th Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Uganda.
Rev. Loum was elected by the House of Bishops that sat at Lweza Training and Conference Centre in Entebbe on August 12, and
his consecration is slated for 21 November 2021 at St. Philip's Cathedral in Gulu.
But on 19 October 2021, the appellants; Tom
Mboya Okecho and Emmanuel Omwony, through their lawyers Waymo Advocates filed a
suit at Gulu High Court seeking a permanent injunction on Rev Loum’s consecration
citing irregularities and violation of the canon laws.
The plaintiffs dragged the Church of Uganda to
court alongside other defendants that included the Registered Trustees of the
Diocese of Northern Uganda, Registered Trustees of the Church of Uganda, Archbishop
Rev. Dr Samuel Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu, Francis Gimara and Rev Loum.
They also argued that the failure by the
Registered Trustees of the Province of Church of Uganda and the Archbishop to
cancel and nullify the illegal appointment of Rev Loum as the Bishop of
Northern Uganda Diocese amounts to a breach of duty and failure to perform
functions imposed on the Archbishop by the Constitution of the Province of the
Church of Uganda.
Further, the wanted a court order to nullify
and set aside the appointment of Rev Loum as the Bishop-elect of the Diocese of
Northern Uganda, cause the trustees to cause the appointment of
appropriate and legally constituted nominations committee for the selection and
appointment of the Bishop.
They also want a permanent injunction issued
against defendants from declaring and consecrating or enthroning Rev Geoffrey
Loum as the Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Uganda.
However, the Chief Justice, Alphonse Owny-Dollo
Chigamoi backed by Acholi legislators, cultural and other religious leaders weighed
in and mitigated the grievances prompting the duo to withdraw the suit against
On Friday 18 November 2021, the Principle Judge Dr. Justice
Flavian Zeija issued a notice of withdrawal of suit by consent of the parties
and their respective advocates. “It is hereby agreed as follows: That Civil Suit No. 34 of
2021 against the defendants herein be and is hereby withdrawn unconditionally. That
each party bears its own costs,” the withdrawal notice read in part.
Adding, “That the 3rd Defendant (The Most Rev. Dr.
Samuel Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu) shall proceed to Consecrate the 5th
Defendant (Rev. Geoffrey Loum) as the 8th Bishop of the Diocese of
Northern Uganda on the 21st day of November 2021 as planned. The notice further indicated that the Chief Justice of Uganda
shall continue to with the mediation process to ensure reconciliation of all
Rev. Loum will be succeeding Rev Johnson
Gakumba, who has been Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Uganda since 2009 but
sought early retirement at the age of 62.
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.