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Three out of seven judges quash age limit act

Three Supreme Court Judges in Kampala Thursday ruled that the age limit amendment bill was inappropriate. (PHOTO/NILE POST)

KAMPALA – Justice Paul Mugamba has become the third judge to invalidate the Constitutional Court ruling on the age limit law.

Justice Mugamba joins Justices Eldad Mwanguhya and Lillian Ekirikubinza who also ruled that the process of conceptualizing, debating and enactment of Constitution (Amendment) Act 2018 that removed the presidential age limit from the Constitution was marred by a number of irregularities.

Justice Mugamba accused of  Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga for committing irregularities going by the contents of the certificate of compliance she sent to the President to sign the bill into law. He also said her subsequent protest letter to Mr Museveni only corroborated the case petitioners made in Mbale, showing significant/fatal irregularities were committed hence making the age limit law null and void.

What remains now is for one more judge to rule against age limit act and it will be nullified. Justice Jotham Tumwesigye is now reading his ruling and will be followed by Chief Justice Bart Katureebe.

Earlier, Justice Eldad Mwanguhya agreed with the petitioners that the manner in which the age limit was scrapped didn’t comply with constitutional requirements, making the entire act a nullity.

Justice Lillian Ekirikubinza also nullified the age limit act, saying Speaker Kadaga committed procedural irregularities regarding the certificate of compliance, making the act invalid. She added that Ms Kadaga exceeded her powers regarding the order paper and misled the President into assenting a defective law.

However, Justice Stella Amoko Arach upheld the amendment, saying it was done within the provisions of the Constitution.

Justice Arach said there was no proof from appellants that members of the public were denied access to the gallery during the reading and tabling of the Bill in Parliament.

On the UGX29m given to MPs for consultations, the lady judge said the bill didn’t have any charge on the consolidation fund because the money had already been budgeted for by the parliamentary commission to fund the activities of parliament.

She said the constitutional amendment to scrap the lower and upper age limits was done according to provisions of the Constitution and it was right for the Constitutional Court in Mbale to uphold the same.

The court proceedings are still ongoing with six more judges yet to read their judgments.

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