By Nelly Otto
The Constitutional Court has cautioned Kampala City lawyer Krispus Ayena-Odongo against using abusive and derogatory language in proceedings before the courts of law.
“…the petitioner is ordered to desist from filing pleadings and other court processes and conducting himself in a manner that puts the legal profession in disrepute…”,reads in part the order issued by Constitutional Court Judge, Lady Justice Irene Mulyagonja.
Justice Mulyagonja was on 2nd December, 2022 delivering a ruling on a petition filed by Ayena Odongo against the Attorney General, the former Paramount Chief Yosam Odur Ebii, Lango Cultural Foundation and Eng. Dr Michael Moses Odongo Okune the New Paramount Chief (Won Nyaci).
In his submission, Ayena Odongo through his Kampala based law firm Ayena Odongo& Co Advocates used strong and derogatory language against Eng. Dr Michael Moses Odongo Okune, prompting rebuke from the court.
The former Oyam North MP, a critic of the NRM party used the petition to disparage President Yoweri Museveni negatively portraying the person of Odongo Okune as being nothing but a clown and mimicker of Museveni to quench his.
Quoting relevant sections of the law, including regulation 31 of the Advocates (Professional) Regulations S1-267-2 which states that any act or omission of the advocate, which is an offence under the Advocates Act, Justice Mulyagonja said advocates have obligations.
“…this obligation includes civility, professional integrity, personal dignity, candor, diligence, respect, courtesy and cooperation…which are essential to the fair administration of justice and conflict resolution…” she pointed out.
In his Constitutional Court Petition 14 of 2017, Ayena-Odongo had challenged the 2003 installation of Yosam Odur Ebii as the Paramount Chief (Won Nyaci) of Lango saying it is inconsistent with Article 246 of the 1995 Consurition.
He also challenged the election and installation in 2017 of Eng. Dr Michael Moses Odongo Okune as the New Paramount Chief (Won Nyaci) of Lango following the enactment of a new constitution of Tekwaro Lango.
The matter was before five judges namely: Justices Chebporion Barishaki, Stephen Musota, Muzamiru Kibedi, Monica K Mugenyi and Irene Mulyagonja as the lead judge.
During the hearing, Lango Cultural Foundation, appearing as respondent number three was expunged because, according to trite law, only natural and artificial persons, bodies which have legal personality have the capacity to sue or be sued.
One of the implications of the ruling is that Yosam Odur’s Lango Cultural Foundation becomes an illegal entity leaving Tekwaro Lango whose constitution was recently put on the gazette as the only cultural body for the people of Lango.
Equally in a tight corner is the Central Government through the Gender, Labour and Social Development ministry whose political head Betty Amongi has always frustrated Odongo Okune’s gazettement.
However experts say the ruling now puts to rest the endless wrangles fueled by some jealous politicians who have always feared the ascendancy of Okune, seen to be a close ally of President Yoweri Museveni to the throne will overshadow them
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