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BIG STORY: Chief justice Owiny Dollo was Museveni’s lawyer in Besigye’s 2006 Election petition

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EXCLUSIVE REPORT: The supreme court presided over by the Chief justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo on Tuesday evening dismissed a request for an amendment of the election petition filed by the National Unity Platform (NUPP) lawyers hitting a blow in the move to challenge Museveni’s election victory as president.

The same chief justice had a week earlier privately met the president, Yoweri Museveni at State house Nakasero where the duo are said to have agreed on a number of issues. The duo agreed to boost the funding and welfare reimbursed to the judiciary wing of government.

Some officials privy to the meeting say Owiny was directed to downplay the overwhelming evidence tabled by the NUP legal team. He was reportedly asked to convince the other 8 judges to dispel evidence especially that which has been retrieved from social media.

Our reporter delves into the working ethics of the new Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo whose appointment was largely influenced and approved by president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

Owiny Dollo was appointed and approved as new Chief Justice replacing Justice Bart Katureebe who also left a legacy of justifying illegalities like the controversial age limit bill.

Who is Justice Owiny Dollo?

Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny-Dollo is a Ugandan lawyer and judge. He has been the Chief Justice of Uganda since 20 August 2020. He served as the Acting Chief Justice of Uganda from 22 June 2020 and was a deputy Chief Justice from 30 September 2017. He had been appointed to that position in August 2017, replacing Steven Kavuma, who attained the mandatory retirement age of 70 years on 29 September 2017.

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Before joining the High court in 2008, justice Owiny Dollo was president Museveni’s attorney in the 2006 presidential election petition that had been filed by opposition Forum for Democratic Change candidate Rtd. Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye.

Owiny Dollo, who enrolled as an advocate a year prior to Museveni’s ascension to power (1985), was a defense counsel in the landmark high treason trial, appeal and retrial of Prof. Isaac Newton Ojok on charges of treason and convicted to death. However, after a retrial, Prof. Ojok was acquitted of all the charges that had been imposed on him by Alfonse Dollo.

In the laws governing the legal profession, it is not acceptable for a judge or magistrate to preside over a case in which he has personal interests or personal ties with one of the members involved in the case. In this case, the chief justice has interests in upholding Museveni’s victory since it is upon so that the judiciary would get the funding he had requested for. Secondly, given that Alfonse Owiny Dollo has ever been Museveni’s private attorney, it is obvious that he cannot rule against him.

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