The Chief Justice of Uganda, Alphonse Owiny-Dollo has warned political parties involved in the 2021 Presidential Election Petition against blackmailing and intimidating Justices of the Supreme Court.
Early this week, National Unity Platform’s Robert Kyagulanyi threatened to withdraw his petition against National Resistance Movement and the Uganda Electoral Commission if three justices don’t recuse themselves from the case.
Kyagulanyi said Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, Justice Mike Chibita and Justice Ezekiel Kurabiraho Muhanguzi who he claimed had ties to the ruling NRM government, will not serve justice if they are involved in hearing his petition.
On Friday, the Attorney General, William Byaruhanga reported to the court what he termed as efforts to intimidate justices.
“It appears as an orchestrated scheme to bias and intimidate this court. This is the highest court in our land and respect should be accorded to it,” Byaruhanga said.
“Kyagulanyi’s utterances in the media are not in good faith, adding that he seems to be playing to another gallery.” The Attorney General said.
When Kyagulanyi’s lawyers were asked to comment on the matter, they denied knowledge of the comments alluded to.
“I have not seen any application(for recusal) to that effect. I will take up the matter with my client,” Medard Sseggona, Kyagulanyi’s lead lawyer said.
In response, the Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny-Dollo said no amount of intimidation or threats will derail them from handling the case properly.
“If anybody has issues to raise against the judges, the court is the way to do it. If anyone thinks they can intimidate, blackmail or induce with favours the Chief Justice, they are headed for a crash,”CJ Alphonse Owinyi-Dollo
Owiny-Dollo added that he considers the utterances in the media as cheap talk.
“If you have no confidence in us, don’t bring your case here. If you have your plan B, we can’t stop you from applying it. There is a difference between political and judicial functions,”CJ Alphonse Owinyi-Dollo