The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Jane Frances Abodo has asked the Buganda Road court to take over the private criminal proceedings against chief justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo.
The proceedings were instituted by lawyer Male Mabirizi on Monday arising from Owiny-Dollo’s conduct on March 18 and 19 2021 when he allegedly showed disrespect, obstruction and disturbance in the course of judicial proceedings to Lady Justice Esther Kisakye.
Kisakye had come to court to read her dissenting ruling on an application arising from a presidential election petition filed by former National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu.
According to Mabirizi, Owiny-Dollo allegedly ordered his police guards to take Kisakye hostage thereby confiscating her file, ordered for closure and dismantling of the court tent, ordered for disconnection of power and sound system, ordered court staff not to attend her court and also closed down the court premises to prevent her from reading her ruling.
Mabirizi asked the court to issue a warrant of arrest against Owiny-Dollo compelling him to come and take a plea on the charges against him. However, in response to Mabirizi’s private proceedings, Abodo has decided to take over the matter and continue with it.
“The office Director of Public Prosecutions under Article 120(3) (c) of the 1995 Constitution and section 43(1)(a) of the Magistrates Courts Act cap 16, has decided to take over and continue criminal proceedings instituted by Mr Male H . Mabirizi. K. Kiwanuka against Hon Justice Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny-Dollo effective immediately,” reads the letter in part.
The letter signed by Buganda Road court resident chief state attorney Joan Keko adds that Mabirizi is required to give all reasonable information about the proceedings and furnish all documents in his possession or under his control to them.
The letter dated March 23 also indicates that the communication in respect to this case should henceforth be directed to the office of the DPP.
However, Mabirizi says it’s null and void since at the moment there’s no DPP to take over the case following a recent constitutional judgement that invalidated the actions by judicial officers in executive or constitutional positions before they resign as Judicial Officer.
The case is yet to be heard in court for the parties to orally present their arguments.