By law, a person dissatisfied with the purported outcome of a Presidential election has 15 days within which to file a Petition in the Supreme Court challenging that election. In our case, since the EC declared what it claims to have been the results of the election on 16th Jan 2021, we had up to Sunday 31st January 2021 to file a Petition. The law says that when such a deadline falls on a weekend, then it is presumed to fall on the next working day i.e. Monday 1st February 2021.
Now, although our President Bobi Wine’s lawyers knew that they had up to 1st Feb 2021 to file a Petition on his behalf, they wrote to the Supreme Court on Friday 29th January 2021 asking that it’s registry be open on Saturday 30th January 2020 to receive the Petition. The Court rejected this request, and told them to instead file on 1st Feb 2021 — which was indeed done as you all know.
On 4th February 2021, the Attorney General filed its reply to the Petition asking Court to dismiss it “because it was filed after the deadline” of 31st Jan. This argument was also choreographed by the Electoral Commission which, in its reply to the Petition, has also argued that Bobi’s Petition was filed late. I gather that Museveni’s lawyers have the same argument. So all the 3 entities sued by Bobi Wine for rigging the election are arguing (wrongly) that he did so, late.
Yesterday 5th February 2021, Bobi’s lawyers attempted to file at the Supreme Court an amendment to the original Petition of 1st February 2021. In the amendment, the lawyers intended to table before Court overwhelming evidence that Museveni was not qualified to contest for President of Uganda in the first place; as well as evidence that he bribed voters, among others.
However, the Court rejected the Amendment that Bobi’s lawyers sought to file, and insisted that they must formally apply to Court requesting that it permit them to file the amendment. This requirement is strange because the law, at this particular stage of the Petition, allows Bobi’s lawyers to Amend the original petition without first notifying or seeking anyone’s permission. Obviously, by the time Court eventually allows the amendment to be filed, the entities Bobi sued will already be armed with the convenient argument that it was filed late.
Coincidentally, the same Court yesterday wrote to K & K Advocates — the firm which represents Gen. Museveni — informing them that since Museveni’s time for filing a reply to Bobi’s Petition expires on Saturday 6th February 2021, the Court will be open on that Saturday to receive Museveni’s reply before time catches up with him.
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