Court Declines to Dismiss Busiro North MP Election Petition

Written by on August 27, 2021

Lady Justice Dr. Winfred Nabisinde has rejected an application to dismiss a petition challenging the election of Busiro North Member of Parliament, Paul Nsubuga. Through his lawyers led by Chrysostom Katumba, Nsubuga wanted the petition filed by his rival Edgar Lubadde dismissed on grounds that they were served outside the stipulated time.

They told the court that the petitioner filed the petition on March 19th, 2021. The law requires the petitioner to serve the respondents within seven days after filing the petition. Katumba told the court that the seven days expired on March 25th 2021 without the petitioner serving their client.

He explains in this case; the petitioner should have filed an application before the court for substituted service after the first three days such that the court can extend the time for service. He , however, says that the petitioner filed an application for substituted service on March 29th 2021, long after the expiry of the stipulated time. The court allowed the application on April 1, 2021.

Katumba asked the court to dismiss the entire petition on grounds that even though the application for substituted service was granted, the court never extended the time for serving them. In their defence, Lubadde’s lawyers led by Christopher Kajwara and Ezra Nyalwa opposed the application for dismissal, saying that they were directed to pin the notice of presentation of a petition against Nsubuga on the Wakiso District Administration Notice Board on grounds that the defendant didn’t have a permanent place of aboard in the constituency.

In her ruling, Lady Justice Dr. Winfred Nabisinde dismissed the application, saying that Nsubuga filed an application seeking similar prayers on March 31st 2021 but withdrew it. According to the judge, the withdraw meant that Nsubuga was already aware that there was a petition against him. She also noted that the court has powers to extend the time within, which to serve a respondent especially if it finds special circumstances in the matter.

She asked the two parties to prepare for scheduling the main petition for a full trial to commence soon. Earlier, the same court declined to admit on record a report compiled by the police pinning Nsubuga on identity theft.  The report has indicated that the defendant’s true name is Peter Mukalazi and had wrongly taken over the identity of Paul Nsubuga to benefit from a bursary scheme meant for sons and daughters of Uganda People’s Défense Force soldiers.

Justice Nabisinde rejected the report on the grounds that both the report and complaints of forging nomination signatures were not in the original petition. Nabisinde also ruled that if at all the report by police is admitted, the respondents were going to be prejudiced because the detectives who prepared it did not swear affidavits that would enable the court to summon them for cross-examination over the allegations contained therein.

Court has scheduled August 31st 2021 to commence full trial. Shortly after the court ruling, Nsubuga said the case is aimed at wasting his time and resources instead of serving his voters in the constituency.

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