HIGH COURT, Kampala, Uganda: Time for the hunter becoming hunted is home and dry. This is after the Investigator Counsels of Muwema & Co. Advocates and Solicitors earlier this week successfully solicited for fertile grounds onto which, they filed a strong defense, vowing to hold the bull by its horns.
SSP Nickson Agasiirwe Karuhanga recently dragged to court, The Investigator Publications (U) Limited, the editor in Chief and the person of Stanley Ndawula, claiming that the articles, mostly in the CIP Records series portrayed him as an unprofessional member of the Uganda Police Force, brutal, and un-honorable member of the public among others. He proceeded to pray for Shs500M in damages.
Speaking to this writer last night, the lead counsel, Friday Roberts Kagoro said they managed to beat the deadline and successfully filed the defense via which they want Agasiirwe in the dock to qualify his case against the defendants. “We managed to file the defense in time. We are ready for the trial and we have as well asked Court to dismiss his case with costs,” Kagoro said.
“At the trial the Defendants shall raise a Preliminary Objection to the effect that the Plaintiff’s Suit is bad in law, the Plaint is defective for disclosing no plausible cause of action against them, is frivolous, vexatious, an abuse of Court process. The Defendants’ Advocates shall seek for it to be struck out and/or dismissed with costs,” reads in part the defense.
The defendants denied all the charges and called for the Plaintiff (Nickson)’s appearance to be put to strict proof of the allegations against them. “In specific reply to paragraph 6 of the Plaint but without prejudice to the foregoing, the Defendants shall aver, contend and adduce evidence to the effect that; the alleged articles the Plaintiff is relying on as a basis for his cause of action against the Defendants were published as fair and true comments and for the benefit of the public.”
They argue that the said articles were in respect of a public controversy about the torturing of Ugandans by some members of the Uganda Police that was at the time widely reported in various media houses in the country to which end, Nickson is widely mentioned in various reports and Court proceedings as being part and or head of the special operations Unit whose members are majorly mentioned.
“The articles were never fake, false nor were they harmful or caused any humiliation and or ridicule to the person of the Plaintiff. The contents of said articles as outlined do not in any way contain a single defamatory word against the person of the Plaintiff. The same are actually qualified opinions of the Defendants about the Plaintiff.”
At the trial, the Defendants shall also aver and contend that the Plaintiff’s Special Operations Unit of the police was in 2013 mentioned in the Uganda Human Rights Commission report as being one of the torturous agents of the state. “A copy of the report is attached and marked “A”.
“The Defendants deny the contents of paragraph 7 of the Plaint in toto and in particular reply thereto shall aver and content that the publications in their ordinary meaning or by innuendo did not mean that; The Plaintiff is a trigger happy, murderous, unprofessional, uneducated, short sighted, irrational human being incapable of discerning and comprehending his work methods and or is a police officer who harbors intents of killing innocent persons.”
The defendants also deny that they insinuated that Nickson is irresponsible, gold digger, schemer, a danger to society and right thinking members of society, troublesome, intolerable, not fit for his work station and irrelevant member of society who should be shunned by his peers, colleagues and church members.
They said that the Nickson’s alleged torturous acts, as well as those of some members of the Special Operations Unit which he heads are subject to Court proceedings vide High Court Civil Suit No. 225 of 2015; Gabula Africa Evans Ronald Versus Attorney General where it is alleged that under his orders and participation, the victim was arrested, tortured, denied sleep, beaten by batons, threatened to be short dead, served with food mixed with chemicals that had effect of disintegrating his teeth among others for which reason he is liable.
Stanley Ndawula, the Investigator Editorial Director said he was happy with the lawyers’ successfully filed defense, adding it’s time for Nickson to be paraded before court and qualify his accusations before the public. “This is what we always waited for. It will be a field day to have him in the dock. We are ready to defend our articles both before Court and the public,” he said. Kagoro said they are now waiting for Court’s reply by setting the dates for the commencement of the proceedings.