KAMPALA – The former presidential candidate of the Opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) party, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, has said he expressed reservations about Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo’s impartiality in handling the petition challenging the outcome of the January 14 election.
Speaking to journalists at the party headquarters in Kamwokya on Tuesday, February 16, 2020, Bobi Wine said Owiny-Dollo represented the President Museveni during the 2006 election petition filed by FDC’s Dr Kiiza Besigye and hence has conflict of interest.
Kyagulanyi also said Owiny-Dollo has several times met with Museveni over unknown reasons even when he is set to lead the hearing of his case against Museveni.
‘We have questions about Chief Justice having been a former Museveni minister and former defence lawyer. We have seen pictures and voices suggesting that the Chief Justice has been meeting General Museveni on a regular basis,’ Kyagulanyi said.
He also accused the Supreme Court of failure to accept their evidence ahead of the case hearing.
He threatened to withdraw the case from the court to that of public opinion should it fail to address their concerns.
This comes days after city lawyer Male Mabirizi petitioned the Chief Justice, asking him to excuse himself from the presidential election petition filed by National Unity Platform-NUP president Robert Kyagulanyi.
Mabirizi says Owiny-Dollo’s earlier relationship as Museveni’s lawyer and the fact that he has held discussions with the same respondent after Kyagulanyi’s petition had been filed makes the Chief Justice’s presence on the panel “not only be illegal but also unacceptable under constitutional and fairness principle since justice must not only be done but must also be seen to be done.”
Mabirizi says that he is informed that the Chief Justice recently met President Museveni at State House as Kyagulanyi’s petition is pending determination.
He says Owiny-Dollo’s participation in the case erodes the confidence not only in him but the entire judiciary because “judgment must be rooted in confidence and confidence is destroyed when right minded people go away thinking the judge was biased.”
Mabirizi refers to Legal Notice No.7 of 2019 which states that a judicial officer shall refrain from participating in any proceedings in which the impartiality of the judicial officer may reasonably be questioned.