Court Awards Kyagulanyi Costs as NUP Case is Dismissed
It was all tense at the National Unity Platform (NUP) headquarters in Kamwokya near Kampala.
For most of the morning hours, presidential aspirant Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu and other NUP executives and lawyers remained holed up in Kyagulanyi’s office, waiting for the court’s verdict in a suit that challenged the legality of the political party.
At about 11:58am, wild celebrations erupted after the NUP lawyers finally received the judgement dismissing the application and also awarding Kyagulanyi and his colleagues costs.
Party members Basile Difasi, Hassan Twala, Moses Nkonge Kibalama and Moses Ssimbwa Kagombe wanted court to declare Kyagulanyi’s ascendency to the NUP presidency null and void.
They also wanted the court to quash the party’s change of name from National Unity, Reconciliation and Development Party (NURP) to NUP.
But Justice Musa Ssekaana of the High Court, civil division, found their application defective since it was filed outside the prescribed three months period.
In his judgement, Ssekaana ruled that the applicants ought to have applied for a judicial review in June 2018 after the change of name was registered.
Ssekaana noted that the court cannot allow litigants to circumvent the set procedure by trying to “access court through the window instead of the door that has been prescribed by the Constitution.”
“This court declines to entertain the application since it was not brought under any known procedure and secondly it was made to avoid the time limit of three months within which an application for judicial review should have been brought. The judicial review guidelines or rules equally provide for locus standi and this would have been the threshold before the applicants would seek to challenge actions of a party. It is an abuse of court process. This application is dismissed with costs to the respondents,” Ssekaana ruled.