August 5, 2013

Judiciary Welcomes Odoki Re-appointment

The Judiciary has welcomed the re-appointment of out-going Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki to the Bench from retirement.

In a press statement released on Friday and signed by Judiciary’s public relations officer, Erias Kisawuzi, said the Judiciary welcomed the re-appointment of Justice Odoki as an “acting Supreme Court Justice” for the next two years.

The Judiciary too, welcomed the re-appointment of other three justices to the Bench who have also been re-called from their retirement. They include; John Wilson Tsekooko, Christine Kitumba and Giladino Okello.

Justice Benjamin Odoki has been re-appointed Chief Justice
Justice Benjamin Odoki has been re-appointed Chief Justice

However, the Judiciary was silent on re-filling of the position of Chief Justice that has been at the centre of controversy lately.

Justice Odoki official retired on March 23 after clocking the mandatory retirement age of 70. He also served out the three months extension that expired on June 23.

President Museveni in  a July 9, letter addressed to the chairman of the Judicial Service Commission, (JSC) James Ogoola, directed that Odoki be given a two year contract in order to “maximise the services of our scarce human resource”.

The President also ordered that four other retired Supreme Court justices be recalled to the Bench.

JSC had earlier proposed that the President appoints Justice Bart Katureebe as new Chief Justice. The President acknowledged Justice Katureebe’s strengths but went on to ask that Odoki be retained as Chief Justice for more two years.

This announcement, however, sparked controversy in legal circles, with the Uganda Law Society, saying it was unconstitutional and they have since threatened to sue.

This Judiciary statement comes barely a week after the Western Youth MP Gerald Karuhanga, sued the Attorney General before the Constitutional Court, challenging Justice Odoki’s reappointment as Chief Justice.

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