Gerald Karuhanga, the Western Youth MP is to appeal the decision of the constitutional court to hear his case over the reappointment of Benjamin Odoki as a chief justice without addressing his concerns over the hearing.
In August 2013, President Yoweri Museveni reappointed Odoki chief justice when he retired because of old age.
As a result, Karuhanga filed a petition before the constitutional court challenging the re-appointment of Odoki Chief justice saying he was beyond the 70-year age limit. The constitutional court started hearing the petition, but Karuhanga filed another petition challenging the composition of the bench. Through Professor George Kanyeihamba, a retired Supreme Court judge, Karuhanga asked Justices Sam Kavuma and Augustine Nshimye to excuse themselves from the bench saying they were biased and could not deliver a fair hearing.
He also asked court to look into and pronounce itself on the disappearance of court files related to the case. However, on Monday, the Judges dismissed the petition saying it held no merit adding that, they would continue hearing the case. However, the bench was reconstituted and Justices Sam Kavuma and Augustine Nshimye were dropped. Now, Justice Kanyeihamba says the decision by the court to continue without ruling on the petition constitutes their appeal.
Kanyeihamba is unhappy with the court over what he calls ‘sweeping under the carpet’ concerns like the disappearance of court documents and the bias of judges who had shown up to hear the case. He says the appeal is a matter of principle that he will file with the Supreme Court. Addressing journalists this afternoon, Karuhanga said the appeal to the Supreme Court has already been filed and they are waiting for the dates to be fixed for hearing.
His main petition challenging the reappointment of Justice Benjamin Odoki is ongoing in the constitutional court despite calls to have it halted until the Supreme Court pronounces itself on the matters laid before it. On Monday, Justice Kanyeihamba walked out of the courtroom after the judges refused to grant him leave of court to appeal their decision.
Uganda is without a chief justice for a year now following the retirement of odoki in March last year.