The Supreme Court has granted former National Unity Platform Presidential (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine’s application seeking to withdraw the Presidential election petition.
On Wednesday last week, Bobi Wine filed a petition seeking withdrawal of the matter in which he challenged President Yoweri Museveni’s victory on grounds that the court declined to receive his evidence.
Appearing before a panel of nine judges led by Chief Justice Alfonso Owiny-Dollo, Counsel Medard Lubega Segona explained that their move to withdraw election petition is not influenced by any corrupt bargain as also confirmed by respondent’s affidavits. He asked the court that each party bear their costs after the withdrawal.
In response, Museveni lawyers represented by Edwine Karugire didn’t oppose the application for withdrawal however objected to some claims Sseggona gives as reasons for the withdrawal and hence labeled them false allegations.
Counsel Karugire told the court that the reason for withdrawing is that the evidence on record is not sufficient to support the petition and accuse Bobi Wine of launching attacks against the court on TV when he said he is going to public court.
In a short ruling delivered by Justice Mary Stella Arach-Amoko, court granted the application for withdrawal of the petition following submissions from both the petitioner and respondents. “Court therefore grants the application and full ruling will be delivered on notice,” court ruled
On Thursday 14th January, 2021, the Electoral Commission conducted presidential elections where Ugandans exercised their constitutional rights of choosing a president who will lead them through a five year term. Uganda has a total 18,103,603 registered voters and 34,684 polling stations however only 10,350,819 people turned up to vote.
The presidential election which comprised 11 candidates was won by President Yoweri Museveni Tibuhaburwa Kaguta who got 6,042,898 (58.38%). His closest opponent Kyagulanyi Robert Sentamu got 3,631,437 votes (35.08%).
On 1st February 2021, Bobi Wine petitioned the Supreme Court challenging President Yoweri Museveni’s victory in the just concluded January general elections saying that the election was not free and fair.
He contended that throughout the campaign period the People of Uganda generally, and more particularly his supporters endured untold suffering, torture, degrading and inhuman treatment on the orders of Gen Museveni. He cited the dark days of 18th and 19th November 2020 which saw over 50 innocent, unarmed citizens murdered in cold blood by the police and military.
Last month the Supreme Court declined to receive over 200 pieces of evidence from his lawyers who were led by Anthony Wameli. The court registrar Harriet Ssali Lukwago said the Supreme Court could not receive the affidavits because they were filed beyond stipulated time as agreed during the pre-hearing session held last month.
“Among the rejected evidence included the affidavits of the NUP secretary general Lewis Lubongoya, videos of pre-ticket ballots, and evidence of various polling stations where the incumbent got 100 percent. At Lwaweba polling station where they claim that Museveni got 100 percent seven of my relatives who votes from that station didn’t vote, two pregnant women were in the labour ward and two were arrested,” Bobi recounted.
In February Supreme Court chaired by the chief Justice Alfonso Owiny-Dollo dismissed the MPs petition where he sought to adduce more grounds to support his 26 claims of election fraud, for which he wants president-elect Yoweri Kaguta Museveni annulled.
In the fresh grounds, Bobi contended that Mr Museveni was not qualified as Candidate and could not lawfully Contest in the Presidential Elections being a person in command of military and police contrary to Presidential Elections amendment Act and the Constitutional Amendment
In tandem, the Bobi Wine asked Justice Owiny Dollo, Mike Chibita to back off from hearing the matter because of a clear conflict of interest. He said Chief Justice represented Museveni as his lawyer in the presidential petition filed by Dr. Besigye in 2001 and the former DPP Chibita is Museveni’s former private secretary for seven years. However, justice Dollo declined to recuse himself from the bench.