Court declines to summon the Electoral Commission boss for cross-examination
The High court in Kampala has dismissed an application by the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and Lawyer Hassan Male Mabilizi that sought to order the Chairman Electoral Commission, Simon Byabakama appear for cross-examination on how he could have taken on a new appointment before resigning as a Justice of the Court of Appeal.
Justice Musa Ssekaana threw out the application saying before they filed the case in court, they should have done enough research using the Access to Information Act, and got answers to their queries, as the court also has the discretion to allow or decline summoning a deponent to be cross-examined on his or her affidavit.
The Judge’s ruling was right away rejected by both applicants with Mabilizi shooting up and asking the Judge to step aside from his case citing bias, and arguing that all he sees in him is a lawyer to Byabakama having represented the Electoral Commission in many cases before he became a judge.
In a humble way, Lukwago also made the same request to Justice Ssekaana to excuse himself from hearing of the case in the interest of justice and in good faith given its seriousness as it touches a matter of National importance.
Justice Ssekaana said on the issue of stepping down from hearing this case, he will make a reply in writing, but went ahead to ask the parties in this case to file in court written evidence between January 7 and 22 of 2020, maintaining that even if he is to step aside, the one to replace him has to find their evidence already on record.
Lukwago dragged Byabakama to court accusing him of illegally serving as the Electoral Commission Chair before relinquishing his position as a Justice of the Court of Appeal. Lukwago is also accusing the Commission’s Secretary Sam Rwakoojo of not being eligible for re-appointment to the Electoral Commission saying his term expired.
However the respondents filed a defence last week denying each and every allegation made by Lukwago.