Embattled Rubaga North MP, Singh Marwaha Katogole on Thursday stormed out of High Court accusing Justice Musoke Kibuuka of being biased. Katongole claims the presiding judge was bribed by the petitioner, former journalist Moses Kasibante.
Embattled Rubaga North MP, Singh Marwaha Katogole on Thursday stormed out of High Court accusing Justice Musoke Kibuuka of being biased.
Katongole claims the presiding judge was bribed by the petitioner, former journalist Moses Kasibante.
This followed an incident in which Katongole’s lawyer Peter Musoke was thrown out of court for lack of experience. Musoke, who only got a practicing certificate in January 2011, was standing in for Jeff Lule of Jeff Lule and Company Advocates. Musoke told court Lule was attending to an urgent matter in another court and was therefore applying for adjournment.
But Justice Musoke Kibuuka threw the lawyer out arguing that he is too junior to be in the high court. Katongole was given 15 minutes to look for another lawyer. Musoke had however submitted Katongole’s affidavit accusing the judge of being biased.
The MP claims in the affidavit that Justice Kibuuka has said he will rule in favour of Kasibante. In the affidavit, Singh says he has information from two court clerks, only identified as Annet and John, that the judge has been sited twice along Colville Street in Kampala receiving parcels and gifts, in brown paper bags, from the petitioner. He further claims that Kasibante has been seen twice entering Justice Kibuuka’s residence.
Given all these incidents, Singh says, he is afraid he will not get justice in the petition, as long as Justice Kibuuka Musoke is still presiding over it.
But Justice Musoke refused to step down from the case, saying the affidavit lacks merit and he therefore dismissed it with all the contempt it deserves. The judge went to say that much of what was said in the affidavit is trash, arguing that judges do not behave that way and he certainly doesn’t behave that way. He was surprised that such information could get into an affidavit through a senior lawyer.
Justice Musoke described Singh Katongole’s conduct as contempt of court. He said when he asked Katongole to sit down; the MP instead mumbled something and walked out. But he said he will proceed with the case.
Enos Tumusiime, the lawyer for electoral commission asked court to punish the lawyers who drafted Singh Katongole’s affidavit, saying it breached the advocates’ professional conduct and regulations.
Kasibate’s lawyer, Medard Lubega Seggona concurred with Tumusiime and challenged the wisdom of the lawyers in drafting such an affidavit. Seggona further asked court to investigate the conduct of a senior lawyer, who sent a junior lawyer to represent him in court on behalf of Katongole.
The judge said he will look into the law for an appropriate penalty.
Kasibante dragged Singh together with the Electoral Commission to court after his earlier victory in the February 18th elections was overturned in a controversial vote recount to give the MP victory. The petition has dragged on with both the judge and petitioner’s lawyers accusing Singh of delaying the process.
rubaga north election petition
2011 election petitions