By Hillary Nsambu
JUSTICE Stephen Musota of the High Court has directed the Uganda Law Society (ULS) to file a reply to an application in which the Attorney General, Peter Nyombi, seeks to quash a decision suspending his membership from the Society.
Meanwhile, the judge set December 9, 2013 as the new date on which to hear Nyombi’s application challenging as illegal and unlawful the ULS’s actions.
Nyombi, who is represented by a team of lawyers including Joseph Matsiko, Elson Karuhanga and Sam Mayanja from Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA), also seeks for declarations that the ULS’s decision was illegal, unlawful and breached the law.
He wants the court to order the ULS to apologise to him for three weeks through the print and electronic media and compensation in damages plus costs of the suit.
At a special general meeting held last August at the Imperial Royale Hotel, the ULS unanimously suspended Nyombi from the ULS, accusing him of being incompetent in its statutory duties and misadvising the President or failing to advise him that reappointing retired Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki contravened the Constitution.
Jude Mbabaali and 15 other ULS members had also accused Nyombi of failure to advise the President that the appointment of Internal Affairs Minister Gen Aronda Nyakairima as cabinet minister before he resigned his post as senior UPDF officer, also contravened the Constitution.
The Society further accused Nyombi of mishandling an oil case filed by Kampala lawyer Severino Twinobusingye against the AG in which the state was ordered by court to pay billions of shillings and; that he, as AG, turned against Parliament instead of defending it in the same case.
He also gave an unsolicited opinion to Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga as he allegedly also castigated her for not chasing away the four MPs expelled from the NRM party.
However, Nyombi argues that the ULS had no powers to suspend him as an ex-officio member of the Society. They did not even have powers to issue him with a certificate of incompetence.
They illegally and unlawfully constituted themselves into a court of law, prosecutors and judges in their own cause, which was in excess of their jurisdiction.