Uganda’s Constitutional Court has been asked to temporarily block Parliament from approving Benjamin Odoki as the country’s Chief Justice until the main petition challenging his controversial re-appointment filed by Western Youth MP Gerald Karuhanga is determined.
The law maker in his application before the court, argues that if court does not issue an interim injunction, Parliament could go ahead and approve Mr Odoki as CJ and yet his re-appointment is illegal and would also render his main petition useless (nugatory).
Court is yet to fix a hearing date to hear this application for interim injunction.
The MP is challenging the actions of President Museveni in re-appointing Mr Odoki as Chief Justice saying his reappointment contravenes articles 130, 133, 142 (1) (2) (3), 143 (1), 144 (1) (a) (2) of the Constitution.
The law maker also argues that the Constitution does not provide for the re-appointment of a retired Chief Justice to the post of a substantive Chief Justice of Uganda.
He further accuses the President of not following the recommendations of the Judicial Service Commission that forwarded the name of Supreme Court Justice Bart Katureebe as the suitable candidate to replace Odoki but the President instead re-appointed Odoki, a move he says is unconstitutional.
Mr Odoki clocked the retirement age of 70 on March 23 this year before serving out the three months extension that ended on June 23. He had served in the judiciary for 35 years with the last 12 as Chief Justice.
However, President Museveni in a July 9 letter addressed to the chairman of the Judicial Service Commission James Ogoola, directed that Mr Odoki be given a two year contract in order to maximise the services of our human resource.
But Justice Odoki’s re-appointment has been met with resistance from different players including; Law Society, MPs, academicians on grounds that his re-appointment is illegal as he has already attained the retirement age.