Chief Justice (CJ) Alfonse Owiny-Dollo has hired at least eight prominent lawyers to defend him against the petition filed against him by fellow Supreme Court Justice Esther Kisaakye.
Sources privy to this development told this publication yesterday that renowned constitutional lawyer Dan Wandera Ogalo will lead the defence of the head of the Judiciary in the rebuttal.
Explaining the reason the CJ has hired private lawyers to defend him instead of using the Attorney General, who is the chief government legal adviser, the sources said this is because he has been sued in his individual capacity.
Other prominent lawyers to defend the CJ are former deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana, Caleb Alaka, former Uganda Law Society president Francis Gimara, Alfred Okello Oryem, Tibaijuka Ateenyi, Milton Ochieng, and young lawyers who will be doing research behind the scenes.
By press time last evening, the CJ’s defence team was working round the clock to file their defence to beat the seven-day deadline.
“The defence teams have been working day and night during the weekend and yesterday (Monday) to ensure they come up with a water-tight defence to counter Justice Kisaakye’s lies. We want to respond to all the lies that have been put forward since last year.” A source privy to the CJ’s defence team said yesterday.
On October 3, Justice Kisaakye petitioned the Constitutional Court, majorly about the events that arose out of last year’s presidential election petition between Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, and President Museveni.
Besides the CJ, others sued are Judiciary permanent secretary Pius Bigirimana, Chief Registrar Sarah Langa Siu, commissioner of human resources Apophia Tumwine, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and the Attorney General.
Core to her petition, Justice Kisaakye re-counts the ugly events that unfolded at the Supreme Court last year during the presidential poll hearing that climaxed in her being allegedly denied by the CJ to deliver her dissenting judgment in the majority decision of 8-1.
She also accuses the head of the Judiciary of refusing to grant her leave, and that he has also refused to assign her work.
Further, Justice Kisaakye contends that following the events that unfolded at the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice summarily dropped her as the administrator of the court and replaced her with a junior judge, which action she says is unconstitutional.
“Constitutionally, the position of the administrator of the Supreme Court is a preserve of the most senior member of the Supreme Court after the Chief Justice,” she avers.
She also claims her research assistant, a Grade One Magistrate, has since been withdrawn from her and transferred to Jinja and yet the research assistants for her fellow justices have never been transferred. She says this has seen her do her own research and judicial work.