August 13, 2013

NEBANDA DEATH: Court Declines to Halt Trial Over DPP Absence

Esther Nambayo, the Makindye chief Magistrate has declined to stop the trial of six people charged in connection to the death of Cerina Nebandah, the former Butaleja District Woman Member of parliament.

They are; Adam Kalungi, Noor Abubakar, Khan Babu, Abdul Abid Rashid Butt, Fatuma Babu, and Ali Omar Almuzahim.

It follows an application made by Mac Dusman Kabega, the lawyer of the suspects last week asking court to stop the ongoing proceedings because of the absence of a substantive Directorate of Public Prosecution-DPP.

He argued that article 120 (4) of the constitution demands that state attorneys in any case appear in court on behalf of the DPP, which DPP they say is not there.

In her ruling Esther Nambayo, the Makindye chief Magistrate held that despite the fact that, there is no substantive DPP; the trial should continue since at its commencement in January, there was a substantive DPP who gave general instructions to the state attorneys.

Nambayo said that it is her understanding that the state attorneys were authorized by the then DPP in accordance with general instructions and therefore they have the powers to prosecute the case to its logical conclusion.

She said to her understanding article 120 (4) only bars state attorneys from instituting a fresh criminal case on behalf of the DPP because there is no substantive DPP as of now.

Kalungi Adam, one of the suspects after his arrest
Kalungi Adam, one of the suspects after his arrest

Nambayo said since there is no new case coming to court, the state attorneys have the mandate to prosecute an ongoing case. She therefore overruled the application and ordered the prosecution to present its remaining witnesses for further hearing. Court accordingly set August 15 to continue hearing this matter. The state attorneys in this case include; Samali Wakooli, Lucy Kabakuma and Andrew Odit.

About a fortnight ago, President Museveni appointed Richard Buteera, the then DPP and his deputy Damali Lwanga as Court of Appeal Justice and High Court Judges respectively.

The President has since not appointed their successors, leaving a vacuum at the Directorate that has led to the freezing of many

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks