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AG asks Supreme Court to dismiss law society’s petition against Age Limit ruling

COURT | The Attorney General has askedthe Supreme Court to throw out Uganda Law Society’s (ULS) appeal challenging the Constitutional Court judgment that upheld the lifting of the presidential age limits.

In its affidavit, the Attorney General accuses ULS of failing to serve his chambers the appeal within the prescribed period of time.

In July, ULS was among the losers in the Age Limit case, after the Constitutional Court, in 4-1 majority judgment, held that Parliament’s controversial lifting of the presidential age limit at the end of 2017 was constitutional.

Dissatisfied with the judgment, ULS lodged a notice of appeal on August 3, both at the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court.

However, the Attorney General, through an affidavit sworn in by State Attorney Charity Nabasa, says that ULS’s troubles commenced when the society chose to serve the government’s chief legal advisor on August 30.

Serving on August 30 meant the ULS was late by 13 days–it was supposed to serve as laid down by the law, the Attorney General says.

It’s the AG’s contention that ULS won’t be prejudiced if the court strikes out the notice of appeal since it failed to file an application to validate why it served the appeal beyond the stipulated time.

Such a prayer, Nabasa contends that is ”reasonable” and “in interest of justice that the application is granted.”

The Supreme Court has set November 13 to hear the Attorney General’s application.

Though it wants to be part of the Supreme Court proceedings in its petition, ULS did not challenge the lifting of the presidential age limits. It only challenged extension the term of Members of Parliament and local council leaders from five to seven years effective immediately.

Both of those issues were outlawed by the Constitutional court, leaving ULS with nothing to argue at the Supreme Court, if its petition is to go by.

Meanwhile, Prosper Businge and Jonathan Abaho, who were part of the petitioners during the judgement in Mbale, have decided not to be party to the appeal proceedings in the highest court in the land.

In withdrawing from the proceedings, the two, who are ordinary citizens from Kabarole District, rationalised their decision on grounds that a number of achievements were attained from their efforts in Mbale.

They cite stopping extension of term of MPs from 5-7 years, which they say would disenfranchise people’s right to vote.

Their withdrawal from the case means that now only three petitioners remain in the Supreme Court. They are: eccentric lawyer Male Mabirizi, ULS and the six opposition MPs led by Gerald Karuhanga of Ntungamo Municipality.

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