Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo
Lawyer Male Mabirizi has instituted private criminal proceedings against the Chief Justice of Uganda Alfonse Owiny-Dollo.
The charges arise from the recently withdrawn Presidential Election Petition by former Presidential Candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, and the ensuing altercation that disrupted the Supreme Court last week.
Mabirizi has drafted a charge sheet with two offenses; one of showing disrespect to court proceedings and another for causing obstruction or disturbance in the course of a Judicial proceeding. He then submitted them before the Buganda Road Chief Magistrate asking her to issue a warrant of arrest against Owiny-Dollo such that he can come to take plea and then get convicted on the two offenses against him.
The Private Prosecutor alleges in his yet to be approved charge sheet that on March 18th and 19th 2021, Owiny-Dollo showed disrespect, obstructed and caused disturbance in the course of a judicial proceedings to Lady Justice Esther Kisakye.
On the said date, Kisakye was conducting court proceedings in the Supreme Court arising from Kyagulanyi’s Petition when Owiny-Dollo allegedly ordered his police guards to take the lady Justice hostage thereby confiscating her file. The charge sheet also indicates that Owiny-Dollo ordered for closure and dismantling of the court tent, disconnection of power and sound system before ordering court staff not to attend Kisakye’s court and closed down the court premises to prevent her from reading her dissenting ruling.
“Hereto attached is my signed charge sheet for your approval and signature and upon plea taking, I will be ready to proceed with adducing evidence to secure his conviction in order to restore sanity in the administration of justice” reads the petition in part.
It adds that the Magistrate should not fear Owiny-Dollo for being superior and reminds her of her Constitutional duty and oath to do justice without fear, favor or ill will.
According to Mabirizi last week on Friday, the Supreme Court gate was blocked on Owiny-Dollo’s orders yet; the same building houses the East African Court of Justice where he had some documents to take regarding his case of internet shutdown against the government of Uganda and he also had several complaints he was to serve to the Justices but he didn’t succeed.
“The main gate to the premises was closed and I was informed that the accused had made an order that no one should enter, including me who had gone for the ruling” says Mabirizi.
The ardent believer of the rule of law adds that he made a telephone call to the accused’s mobile phone number that is well known to him but Owiny-Dollo reportedly refused to pick.
Mabirizi now wants a warrant of arrest to be issued against Owiny-Dollo and compel him to come to court and take plea on the charges levied against him.
The case has not yet been fixed for hearing.
This is not the first time Mabirizi is raising complaints of misconduct against Owiny-Dollo.
On September 8 2020, Mabirizi petitioned the East African Court of Justice challenging his appointment on grounds that he was incompetent and given his past conduct of engaging in acts of misbehavior and misconduct put him below the required standard of being a chief justice.
In February 2021, Mabirizi filed an application requiring Owiny Dollo to recuse himself from presiding over the proceedings in Kyagulanyi’sl Petition on grounds that he was a lawyer for President Yoweri Museveni who had been listed as the first respondent to the petition that has since been withdrawn.
On March 1 2021, Mabirizi petitioned the East African Court of Justice appealing against Owiny-Dollo’s decision to stay in the case.
On March 5 2021, Mabirizi petitioned the Judicial Service Commission, a statutory body charged with the recruitment of Judicial Officers and regulating their conduct seeking for Owiny-Dollo’s removal for alleged misconduct.
On March 19th 2021, Mabirizi filed additional evidence to support his case against Owiny-Dollo filed earlier on in March, after the recent saga involving Dr Kisakye.
Investigations have since commenced before the Judicial Service Commission.