KAMPALA – The High Court on Friday, September 11, 2020 witnessed drama after lawyers of Gen Henry Tumukunde and Justice Musa Ssekaana clashed over the latter’s refusal to summon CID Director Grace Akullo in the case where the former Security minister is challenging the summons to appear before the Criminal Investigations Department of Police.
On August 17, 2020, Akullo summoned Tumukunde to record a statement after he had allegedly held meetings with army veterans discussing issues related to politics.
But Tumukunde challenged the summons before the High Court Civil Division seeking an order restraining Akullo, government and their agents from further violating or threatening his rights enshrined in the Constitution based on the said summons. Tumukunde’s lawyers asked court on Thursday to summon Akullo to come physically in court and be cross examined over her defense in the affidavit which they said it contained hearsay. The lawyers also argued that Akullo had sworn an affidavit without appearing before the Commissioner of Oaths.
Justice Musa Ssekaana declined to summon Akullo. He argued that Akullo’s affidavit doesn’t contain any allegations touching on fraud, authenticity of facts and bad motive which would necessitate and justify an order for cross examination.
“It was wrong for the applicant’s counsel to make an application for cross examination in a haphazard manner without genuine and sound reasons. It would appear that this application was made to delay the hearing of the application for temporary injunction since the same is sought at a preliminary stage,” said Ssekaana.
However, shortly after the Judge declining to summon Akullo, one of the lawyers representing Tumukunde, Wameli asked court to strike the Attorney General from the list of the respondents such that the interim application can only be against Akullo.
But without listening to Wameli’s reasons, Justice Ssekaana told him that he doesn’t want that kind of drama in his court wondering why he had sued the attorney general in the first place. Ssekaana asked Wameli if he is not ready to proceed to pack his things and get out of court such that he can continue hearing the case ex parte.
But Wameli also stood his ground and told Ssekaana that he is working on the instructions of Lt General Tumukunde and that he cannot force him to continue with the case against someone whose client is no longer interested in suing.
In reply, Justice Ssekaana told Wameli and his colleague Geoffrey Turyamusiima that they are not robots but they are people who understand the law including their client Tumukunde and noted that they should not be doing wrong things simply because their client told them to do so.
Ssekaana later declined to remove the attorney general from the list of the respondents and said he will continue ex parte and deliver the ruling in the interim application on September 14, 2020.
The Attorney General’s representative, the Commissioner in Charge of Civil Litigation George Kallemera had also told Justice Ssekaana that it seems Tumukunde’s lawyers were not ready to proceed arguing that for the last two weeks, his side has been eager and well prepared to proceed with the case.
The judge asked the parties to submit their written submissions in the main case before the end of this month such that he can deliver judgement on October 23, 2020.