The Uganda Catholic Lawyers’ Society (UCLS) has petitioned the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to block the Shs 11bn compensation award to Severino Twinobusingye’s lawyers.
In November 2011, Twinobusingye, petitioned the Constitutional court to, among others, nullify Parliamentary resolutions requiring Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and two other ministers to step aside pending investigations into alleged oil bribes. The petition succeeded because the resolution requiring Mbabazi to step aside was declared null and void.
Twinobusingye, the petitioner, was awarded two thirds of the costs with a certificate for his two counsels – John Mary Mugisha and Chris Bakiza. Mugisha demanded Shs 12bn as taxation and Bakiza, an assisting counsel, asked for Shs 8bn claiming that the matter was of great national importance, unprecedented in Ugandan parliamentary democracy.
The state opposed the claim by the two lawyers, and, instead, proposed Shs 30m. In his December 24, 2012 ruling, Registrar Elias Kisawuzi reduced the award to Shs 11bn, a figure attracting 18 per cent VAT.
Now, UCLS President Jude Mbabaali and Secretary, Kampala-based lawyer Richard Lumu, have petitioned the JSC Secretary to block the Shs 11bn award. The two lawyers claim that Kisawuzi, who also doubles as the Judicial spokesman, erred both in law and in fact in awarding Shs 11bn as costs in favour of Twinobusingye.
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