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Court halts Parliament oil probe

By Vision Reporter

Added 12th December 2011 06:35 PM

The Constitutional court has ordered Parliament to cease any activities concerning the oil bribery scandal against Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi and ministers Sam Kuteesa and Hillary Onek.

Court halts Parliament oil probe

The Constitutional court has ordered Parliament to cease any activities concerning the oil bribery scandal against Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi and ministers Sam Kuteesa and Hillary Onek.

By Prossy Nanziri and  Hillary Nsambu                     


THE Constitutional Court on Monday stopped the Parliament’s ad-hoc committee from investigating Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and two Cabinet ministers pending the disposal of a petition opposing the probe.

The court also allowed the Parliamentary Commission to present an application tomorrow (Dec 14) in which it seeks to join the Attorney General as defendants in the petition that opposes as unconstitutional the bribery probes against Mbabazi, Hillary Onek and Sam Kutesa.

 The Deputy Chief justice Elizabeth Mpagi-Bahigeine headed the coram. The other members were Justices Steven Kavuma,Augustine Nshimye, Stella Arach-Amoko and Remmy Kasule.

“It is in the interest of justice that Parliament is accorded an opportunity to argue its application to join the Attorney General in this case. It is also our considered view that Parliament stops its activities forthwith concerning all matters that are the subject of this petition until the final determination that Parliament be added as a party or until this court orders otherwise,” the ruling delivered by Justice Kasule  read in parts.

 The petitioner, Severino Twinobusingye, a lawyer by profession, who was represented by John Mary Mugisha and Chris Bakiiza seeks among other declarations that the investigations against the Prime Minister and the two Cabinet Ministers contravened certain articles of the constitution.

Twinobusingye, hailing from Mpangango Upper LCI, Nyarurambi Parish, Nyamirama County, Kinkizi West, Kanungu district contends that the Parliament breached the Constitution by failing to give Mbabazi an opportunity to defend himself before it appointed the ad-hoc committee to probe him.


Twinobusingye, an electorate in Mbabazi’s constituency of Kinkizi West, contends that the ad-hoc committee of Parliament that investigates the bribery oil saga against Mbabazi was biased, thereby making the Parliament a judge  in its own case by denying all the three Government officials a right to appear before an independent and impartial tribunal.

However, when the case had come up for hearing on Monday the assistant legal advisor,  Stina Cherotiki, asked the court to allow the Parliamentary Commission to join the Attorney General as a second defendant, contending that there were pertinent issues that touched its interests and which should not be argued without its active participation.

  It was argued that the Parliamentary Commission had a duty to ensure the proper functions of Parliament and as such has an interest in ensuring that the institution of Parliament is not undermined.

It is there not only to defend the resolutions of the Parliament, but also the Constitution and the Parliament as a distinct arm of the state.

 It had also been contended that the Attorney General alone might not properly represent the views, interests and aspiration of Parliament

 

 

 

Court halts Parliament oil probe

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