High Court Suspends Sejusa’s Case Before Court Martial

Gen David Sejusa

The Supreme Court has accepted the application by the 9 Makerere law dons seeking to join the Amama Mbabazi petition as amicus curiae (friends of court).

Justice Lillian Tibatemwa in her ruling said that amicus curiae is increasingly being entrenched in the justice system both in domestic and international tribunals therefore court found it essential.

Justice Tibatemwa further stated that the East African Court of Justice in which Uganda is a party has also considered such applications in previous cases.

Header advertisement

“According to Article 126 Clause 1, treatment judicial power is derived from people and exercised by court on behalf of the people. The applicants have a proven record in human rights, cialis 40mg constitutional law and they are well researched legal scholars.”

Much as the court questioned the applicants’ neutrality as required of friends of court, diagnosis Justice Tibatemwa said this is not the only determining factor.

“Court has realized that the applicant raises points of law that would benefit it in reaching a final ruling. The applicants have satisfied the requirements and are ordered to file a written brief before March 17.”

The written brief will be strictly limited to the law and include the applicants’ proposals on electoral reforms as well as judicial remedies to prevent the re-occurrence of non implementation of court recommendations cited in previous petitions.

However, the third application by civil society actors who were involved in observing elections has been rejected by court citing insufficient requirements.

Court ruled that the applicants dwelt entirely on their expertise in election observing instead of legal expertise.

“The application cites the experience of Crispy Kaheru in observing as an individual but there’s no evidence of other observers’ experience. Court thereby denies amicus curiae to the third applicant on grounds of lacking requirements,” ruled Justice Stella Arach.

Commenting on the ruling, FIDA’s Executive Director Irene Ovonji said they appreciated that court considered one of the application.

“In the ruling, court also appreciated the role of observers’ reports in informing its decisions. Today’s event is a positive highlight given that court has showed that the petition is for the interest of Ugandans,” Ovonji told journalists.

The applicants include; Oloka Onyango, Sylvia Tamale, Christopher Mbazira, Ronald Naluwairo, Rose Nakeyi, Busingye Kabumba, Daniel Ruhweza, Kakungulu Mayambala and Daniel Ngabirano.
High Court judge Justice Margaret Ouma Oguli has suspended the trying of General David Sejusa at Makindye General Court Martial where he is facing five charges related to insubordination and being absent without leave; until the main application before the high court is disposed off.

This was the ruling on an application recently filed in the court by Sejusa through his lawyers of Mushabe and Munungu and Company Advocates, information pills requesting it to stay the proceedings before the
army court, nurse until his application where he claims that he was constructively discharged from the army is determined.

In this application, Sejusa wanted High Court to temporarily suspend his trial before the General Court Martial since High Court had not yet determined whether the latter still had jurisdiction over him as an army officer.

Sejusa claims that having been denied his salary and other benefits, the withdrawal of his army uniforms, guns, refusal to deploy him, failure to provide him any means of transport, meals and others all were indicative that he was constructively discharged from the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF).

On the other hand, the former spymaster was seeking for court to order for his release from Luzira Prison pending the hearing of the main civil suit number 176 of 2015 before the High Court.

In her ruling, the judge stressed that Section 98 of the civil procedure Act provides High court with powers to issue out orders with the aim of avoiding abuse of court.

She added that since the applicant tried to express his rights by using all the avenues to seek for his freedom before the General Court Martial and he didn’t achieve them, it was upon the High Court to give him justice.

The judge pointed out that it was unfair for the army court to deny the accused bail even after proving it that he was above 50 years of age which is legally recognized as advanced age under the constitution of the Republic of Uganda.

She added that the Court Martial system made it difficult for Gen Sejusa to be able to appeal against his denial of bail.

“Having considered these factors, I thereby order the trial where the applicant is facing five counts before the General court martial to be halted until the main application number 176 of 2016 before this
court is fully resolved.”

The judge explained that this order does not stop the trial at the Court Martial; but suspends it for a limited period until the main suit is finalized.

On releasing Sejusa from prison, she said, this could only be done after court has finalized the hearing of the case and the judgment has been made.

“So being that the General Court martial has not finalized with the hearing of this case… I cannot release the applicant.”

Meanwhile, using the powers of Article 23 6 (a) of the Constitution, Justice Oguli transferred this case to High Court Criminal Division and advised the applicant to re-apply for bail in the Criminal Criminal Division

The judge didn’t award costs to any party, adding that these would be awarded but she has ordered that costs will be awarded after disposing off the main application which has been fixed for Hearing on 5th April 2015.

Counsel Munungu on behalf of his client applauded the High court for exercising its powers despite of a number of challenges it’s facing in the country today.

Header advertisement


Header advertisement
To Top