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Museveni affidavit defective –Besigye

By Vision Reporter

Added 12th April 2001 03:00 AM

Joseph Balikuddembe, Col. Dr Kizza Besigye's lead counsel, has urged the Supreme Court to expunge (disregard) President Yoweri Museveni's affidavit, saying it was defective.

Joseph Balikuddembe, Col. Dr Kizza Besigye's lead counsel, has urged the Supreme Court to expunge (disregard) President Yoweri Museveni's affidavit, saying it was defective.

Poll Lawyers Wind Up Case BY John Kakande, Anne Mugisa and Juliet Nankinga Joseph Balikuddembe, Col. Dr Kizza Besigye's lead counsel, has urged the Supreme Court to expunge (disregard) President Yoweri Museveni's affidavit, saying it was defective. Balikuddembe, in his submission yesterday, said Museveni's affidavit was in breach of Section 6 of Commissioner of Oaths Advocates Act. The hearing of the petition is scheduled to close today with submissions by Besigye's counsels. The counsels for Museveni and the Electoral Commission will also be given time to make a brief response to new issues raised by Besigye's team. Balikuddembe yesterday told court Museveni's affidavit, although it bore a High Court seal and a signature, did not bear the name of the person who commissioned the affidavit as reportedly required by law. "There is a signature. It does not state whether it's of a magistrate, registrar or commissioner of oaths. It renders that affidavit defective. It could be the (signature) of a clerk of the High Court," Balikuddembe said. He said if the affidavit was expunged, it would mean "the first respondent (Museveni) is not opposing the petition." He said for Museveni's reply to stand, it had to be accompanied by a valid affidavit. Balikuddembe's objection to Museveni's affidavit provoked protests from his counsels. They argued that Balikuddembe was raising new issues. Didas Nkurunziza said Balikuddembe should have raised the objection in his preliminary submissions. In reply, Balikuddembe said he was raising a 'question of law' for the attention of the Court. "The deponent (Museveni) is recorded as having sworn before a person, who is not named," Balikuddembe said, prompting Justice Joseph Mulenga to ask, "Are you not raising a new matter?" Nkurunziza, when given opportunity to reply, said Museveni's affidavit was "properly commissioned." "The registrar of the High Court administered the oath and affixed the seal of the High Court," he said. He said the signature on the affidavit was that of the registrar, Mr. Gidudu. He said the law did not require that the name of the Registrar who commissioned the affidavit to be indicated. Balikuddembe also defended Major Okwir Rabwoni's affidavit, saying it was not defective as the counsels for the respondents contended. He said Rabwoni's affidavit was not a statutory declaration that required to be registered by registrar of documents. Dr Joseph Byamugisha, the lead counsel for Museveni, accused Balikuddembe of misleading court. Balikuddembe, sounding irritated told Byamugisha to sit down and not interrupt him. Balikuddembe urged court not to strike out Besigye's affidavit on the ground that it contained hearsay. Citing earlier judgements by the Supreme Court, Balikuddembe said court should disregard parts of Besigye's affidavit which "are bad in law." Ends

Museveni affidavit defective –Besigye

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