Court directs AG, Col. Edith Nakalema to appear in court in a matter seeking for the disbandment of the State House Anti-Corruption UnitDate: 2022-03-29
By Nabirye Edith
Despite the Attorney General's Chambers headed by Kiryowa Kiwanuka and Col Edith Nakalema the former commandant of the State House Anti-Corruption Unit commandant who was sued in her personal capacity missing court, the deputy registrar of the constitutional court as set May 20 2022 for the parties to appear in court to agree on the issues to be determined by the Constitutional Court.
The petitioners in this matter seek for the declaration disbanding the Unit's establishment alleging that it violates the National Constitution and the laws of the country.
The court decision followed the appearance of the petitioners and their lawyers led by Emmanuel Kigenyi of Opira and Company Advocates in the absence of the Respondents or their representatives.
The deputy Registrar of the Constitutional Court Henry Twinomuhwezi, directed parties in the matter where the former Commandant of the State House Anti-Corruption Unit Col. Edith Nakalema and Attorney General where sued for acting outside the law, to file joint scheduling notes before the hearing of the petition kicks off.
Private citizens led by city lawyer Jeremiah Keeyo Mwanje, Law Development Center student Justus Akampurira, Thomas Bagonza also a student of law and businessman Darius Muteesa petitioned the Constitutional Court challenging the legality of the State House Anti-Corruption unit claiming that their actions are illegal, inconsistent with paragraphs 11(i) and v(i) of the National Objectives and Directive principles of the State Policy and articles 1,20,23,27,28,44,99(3) of the Constitution.
They also wanted the Constitutional Court to declare that the State House Anti-Corruption Unit is not constitutionally empowered to investigate, arrest and detain any suspect because such powers were given to Uganda police through the Criminal Investigation Department or the office of the Inspector General of government.
They further want the Court to declare the agency that is not constitutionally empowered to order any government agency created under the Constitution to investigate, arrest, and detain suspects since they are not stipulated in the laws of Uganda.
They seek a Court declaration that all investigations, arrests, detentions made by Col Nakalema who was sent for further studies by the commander in chief president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni are illegal and in contravention with the Constitution.
The petitioner further asked the Court to make a Court Order that the State House Anti-Corruption Unit be disbanded with immediate effect because president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni didn't follow the laws when he was establishing the unit in 2018. T
They wanted the 1st Respondent, the Attorney General, be ordered to release all detainees arrested and in custody on orders of Col Nakalema. In addition to a declaration of permanent injunction restraining Col Nakalema from carrying on her branded impugned functions.
" Col Nakalema activities and those generally of the State House Anti-Corruption Unit have extended to granting something akin to police bond in instances where she sees fit to do so and where her investigations are still being carried on" Akampulira stated in his affidavit filed in Court.
He insists that the actions of Col Nakalema to parading arrested suspects before the media contravenes the doctrine of presumption of innocence and kills their reputation in the public. Akampulira adds in his affidavit that Col Nakalema uses public servants like army officers, lawyers and other security detectives to execute her illegalities including arresting suspects after arresting them they were subjected to torture so as the get evidencies from them on the said matter at hand.
He accuses Col Nakalema of illegally using government funds through State house to run the activities of the agency which is illegal.
However in their defense filed in Court through an affidavit sworn by Bernard Kinyera Ochaya a principle Inspectorate Officer in the Inspectorate of government attached to State House Anti-Corruption Unit and Israel Edwin Ochwo the head of legal in the Unit denied all the allegations and ask Court to dismiss the petition with costs.
They both denied the Unit to have interfered with the powers of the Inspector General of Government which constitutionally mandated to investigate all natures of corruption in the country and the powers of the police's Criminal Investigations Department (CID) who are supposed to investigate crimes.
The respondents told Court that they have not taken the powers of the Directorate of Public Prosecution to prosecute the suspected corrupt people as the petitioners alleges.
They further told Court that they don’t have a detention cells were they illegally kept the suspect illegally arrested and torture them.