The Inspector-General of Police John Martin Okoth Ochola has directed all Police commanders to start obeying and executing court orders.
The directive follows the Attorney General’s letter to the police top leadership to stop ignoring court orders, which he described as the heart of all judicial systems.
In a letter dated 4th November to the Inspector General of Police, Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka said the police chief should direct his officers to comply with all court directives so as not to destroy the authority of the judicial system.
“The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to advise you to direct your officers to comply with the said directives of the court and perform their duties and obligations as is required under the law as failure to do so may lead to contempt of court proceedings filed against the Inspector General of Police personally,” Kiwanuka said.
Kiwanuka said that the Uganda Court Bailiffs’ Association wrote to him saying that police have refused to direct their officers to witness the execution of court orders, which has affected the delivery of justice.
Commissioner of Police Fred Enanga, who is also the force’s spokesperson, has said that the IGP has instructed the Police Director of legal services AIGP Erasmus Twaruhukwa to communicate to all police units to start executing court orders once presented.
“Our director of legal services has communicated to all police units to observe directives of court orders but on one condition, they must ensure that all standard operating procedures of COVID-19-SOPs are followed during the execution of court orders,” Enanga added.
Enanga explains that Police will only comply upon verification of the orders’ authenticity to avoid acting on forgeries that have been used by fraudsters to evict people.
“Someone could forge the court order and come to the district without being authenticated or the directorate of law without doing the sufficient due diligence and Police end up being on the wrong side in a conflict,” Enanga observed. “But now the directives clear all other restrictions including halting court orders that were passed during the intense Covid-19.”