COURT, KAMPALA: The Supreme Court will today give a verdict on whether or not to allow former NUP presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, extra time to file additional affidavits in support of his petition challenging the victory of President Museveni in the January 14 elections.
The court yesterday issued a hearing notice to Mr Kyagulanyi’s lawyers and the accused parties.
The respondents are Mr Museveni, the ruling National Resistance Movement’s former flag bearer whom the Electoral Commission (EC) declared winner of the January14 election, the EC and the Attorney General.
On Wednesday, Mr Kyagulanyi, the leader of Opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) party, filed an application seeking court’s permission to allow his additional 127 affidavits, which the court had rejected on account of being filed out of time.
Through his lawyers, Mr Kyagulanyi argued that the additional affidavits comprising statements, videos, photographs and audio recordings are essential in the petition to enable the court to effectively inquire into and determine all questions involved in the matter.
“The time granted to the applicant for filing additional evidence in support of the petition be enlarged by one extra day to enable him file and serve all his compiled affidavits,” he states.
Mr Kyagulanyi, who was the first-runner up in the January polls, contends that the application was brought without delay because of the prevailing special circumstances that warranted its grant.
“The respondents shall not be prejudiced by extra time being granted to the petitioner to file and serve the additional evidence in the petition,” reads part of the court documents.
He says it is in the interest of justice, equity and fairness that the court grants him extra time to file and serve his additional evidence.
Mr Kyagulanyi’s application seeks court’s permission to allow him file the 127 additional affidavits, which the country’s highest appellate rejected on Monday, reasoning it was done out of time.
On Sunday, Mr Kyagulanyi filed 53 affidavits in four volumes.
The rejected documents included affidavits by NUP party lawyer Benjamin Katana and secretary general David Lewis Rubongoya, Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze, who was re-elected on NUP ticket, and other sworn statements by jailed singer Buken Ali, aka Nubian Li, and veteran journalist Kalundi Serumaga.
Last week, the court directed Mr Kyagulanyi’s lawyers to file their additional affidavits and evidence by February 14) (Valentine’s Day).
On Monday, Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo issued a memo directing the court registrar, Ms Harriet Nalukwago, to inform Mr Kyaguanyi’s lawyers that the said affidavits were filed out of time.
The memo was authored in response to yesterday’s pleas by lawyers from Wameli and Company Advocates, part of the petitioner’s attorneys, for court’s permission for them to file additional affidavits arguing that the accused parties would not be disadvantaged.
By press time, the respondents were yet to respond to the application.
The former NUP flag bearer petitioned the Supreme Court on February 1 to declare that Mr Museveni was not validly elected since the EC did not follow the law in conducting the poll.
In the letter to his lawyers, Ms Nalukwago wrote that the court still stands on its February 11 directive which required them to file additional evidence latest by February 14 at 5pm.
The registrar’s letter indicated that the court would only allow the additional 50 affidavits that the NUP lawyers filed within the deadline on Sunday.
The Supreme Court Rules and Presidential Elections (Election Petitions) Rules, according to a lawyer who spoke on condition of anonymity, allows the court to receive such documents out of time.