In a shocking revelation that has sent shockwaves through the legal community, Justice Percy Tuhaise, a member of the Supreme Court, has come forward with claims that she was under pressure from her boss, Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo, to deliver a controversial verdict in the high-profile case of Hamis Kiggundu alias Ham against Diamond Trust Bank (DTB).
The case, which has captured the nation’s attention, centers around Ham’s legal battle with DTB over alleged dealings without Bank of Uganda’s approval. Ham’s lawyer, Roberts Friday Kagoro, had raised concerns about two pending critical applications during the court proceedings. However, despite these concerns, Justice Tuhaise went ahead and delivered the seven-panel Supreme Court verdict.
Counsel Kagoro, evidently uneasy with the situation, urged Justice Tuhaise to put on the court record that he did not agree with the decision made by her and the rest of her colleagues. He wanted to make it clear that he did not support the judgment.
Justice Tuhaise, in her defense, revealed that she hesitated to arrest the judgment due to the pressure she allegedly faced from Chief Justice Dollo, who mandated her to deliver it. This revelation has raised serious questions about the independence and impartiality of the judiciary.
One of the pending applications in question concerned DTB Kenya’s failure to raise a defense regarding its dealings with Ham without the necessary approval from the Bank of Uganda. In response to this, Ham’s legal team had requested the Supreme Court to enter a judgment against DTB Kenya, known as a judgment on admission, as they had failed to respond adequately to the lawsuit.
The other application sought to introduce additional evidence from Kenya’s central bank to support Ham’s claim that DTB Kenya lacked approval at the time of their dealings with him. The Supreme Court’s failure to address these critical applications has prompted Ham’s lawyers from Muwema and Company Advocates to argue that their client’s right to a fair trial was violated, as he was condemned unheard. Taking the matter to the Constitutional Court, Ham’s legal team is now contending that the Supreme Court’s verdict was unconstitutional, irrational, and illegal, citing the mishandling of these applications as evidence.
Justice Tuhaise, however, maintains that she saw no legal impediment to delivering the judgment. She argues that all parties involved in the case were duly notified, and none had objected to the judgment being delivered. Moreover, she believes that since the Supreme Court did not initially try the matter, it lacked jurisdiction to hear the two applications in question.
The fact that Justice Tuhaise delivered the judgment alone further complicates the matter, as she asserts that she did not have the authority to handle the applications, as they were meant to be addressed by a panel of judges.
The unfolding situation has sparked widespread debate about the integrity and transparency of the judicial system. Calls for an independent investigation into the allegations of pressure from Chief Justice Dollo are growing, as the public demands answers and accountability.
As the legal battle continues, all eyes are on the Constitutional Court to determine the fate of the controversial Supreme Court verdict and to address the serious concerns raised about the judicial process and the conduct of those involved in this high-stakes case.
- Mr. Stephen Kasozi Muwambi is a seasoned crime investigative writer, majoring in judicial-based stories. His two decades’ experience as a senior investigative journalist has made him one of the best to reckon on in Uganda. He can also be reached via [email protected]
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