Lawyers have said that some grounds raised by former Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi including failure to amend his petition as strong enough to withdraw the case.
Museveni's lawyer Esau Isingoma, NRM Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba together with Kyagulanyi's lawyers Anthony Wameli and Geoffrey Turyamusima at the Supreme Court after service.
said that some grounds raised by former Presidential candidate Robert
Kyagulanyi including failure to amend his petition is a strong reason to withdraw a case.
Kyagulanyi the former National Unity Platform-NUP Presidential
candidate today directed his lawyers to withdraw a petition that he filled
in the Supreme Court challenging the outcome of the January 14, 2021,
presidential election won by incumbent Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
Kyagulanyi who earlier objected to three of the judges on the panel for their close relationship
with President Museveni, has now withdrawn the petition based on the fact that amendments to his petition to
introduce more grounds were rejected by the supreme court.
Now some lawyers say that if one
cannot present crucial evidence to the court, then the case is as good as done, and
one can decide to withdraw the case.
Court Lawyer Dan Wandera Ogalo who draws experience from the 2006 Presidential
Election Petition filed by Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Presidential
candidate Dr Kiiza Besigye says that often they file general affidavits at the
beginning and bring in others later on, and surely one can be frustrated if his
evidence gets denied.
He says drawing
from his experience, gathering this evidence takes time, including translating
the evidence if need be with a professional body like Makerere University, and
so if Kyagulanyi’s pictures, recordings were not accepted.
“I can understand
why Kyagulanyi is distressed” Ogalo says.
He says the
rejected evidence could be Kyagulanyi’s best evidence, and not allowing it
would kill the case.
“In my case, I had
an expert witness, an excellent person at working with statistics from a
University, it had to take time for the lecturer to go through statistics of
all the polling stations in all parts of the country” he said.
Lawyer Fred Muwema
also agrees that surely when one is not able to give evidence that he things
can make his case, he would have no reason to proceed.
Muwema says it is a
right for one to petition the court, not proceed with a petition, or even withdraw.“You
cannot force a party to proceed, whatever reasons he gives whether right or
wrong, the case is like personal property, and you may have a say but not
influence it,” he says.
He says usually an
amendment is allowed if it will assist the court to receive all important evidence. “If
the purpose is to submit more grounds and he feels that he has not been given
this opportunity to give new evidence, then it may not work well with him."
a statement that the court is biased for meeting with the President and giving
the incumbent an upper hand, Wandera Ogalo says that this should not be a reason that because the President appoints judges, and so they will always be
He says the Chief
Justice for instance is the head of an arm of Government and you cannot say he
should not meet the President.
He says many
judges, including John Wilson Tsekoko, Justice Arthur Oder made judgments that
were not favorable to the President and have been members of the dissenting
Oder’s judgment in the 2006 petition accused
the Electoral Commission of flaunting
the election laws and shoddy organization of the presidential polls. In 2001
and 2006, justice Tsekooko on his part ruled in favor of the opposition presidential
candidate Kiiza Besigye in the contested national presidential elections.
Fred Muwema who was also part of the 2016 Presidential
petition filled by Presidential candidate Patrick Amama Mbabazi says that the argument
of the president appointing judges and judges being biased to the incumbent is
likely to go on. He says that it is up to Ugandans to decide what works for
them, stating that Kenya for example amended the law on the President
appointing the judges.
He says withdrawing a case could be seen as a vote of no
confidence and the judiciary has to ensure that that the public still trust in
the courts, including letting justice to be seen to be done, and not only done.
A petition shall not be withdrawn except with leave of the
court and after such notice has been
given as court may direct.