Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu famously known as Bobi Wine, the leader of the National Unity Platform (NUP) has Monday morning withdrawn the presidential election petition from the Supreme Court citing bias.
Bobi Wine and NUP loyalists have categorically protested the presence of judges on the Supreme Court bench who in the past have worked as employees or servants of President Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Kaguta Museveni, the respondent in this iconic petition.
Bobi Wine has vehemently asked that judges Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, Ezekiel Muhanguzi and Mike Chibita excuse themselves from the case because they have in the past directly worked under President Yoweri Museveni. This was not achieved leaving the NUP with no choice but to drop the petition saying the judges will be biased.
The petition challenges the results of the January 14 presidential election that, according to the electoral commission, was won by President Yoweri Museveni. Bobi Wine, who emerged second, claims victory but the electoral commission and state machinery handed the victory to Museveni.
“We are withdrawing from the courts but we are not opting for violence. We are withdrawing the case from Mr Owiny Dollo's court,” Daily Monitor quotes Bobi Wine saying.
“Just like Museveni sought to challenge the victory of Obote in 1980 and later withdrew the case and chose to go to the bush, we have also sought the same since the circumstances are not any different,” Bobi Wine is quoted by Nile Post saying.
He said that contrary to Museveni’s actions, he was not seeking a violent end to means. “We are peaceful and we shall not use violence as Museveni did,” he said.
Bobi Wine’s petition withdrawal comes a day after President Museveni, Electoral Commission and Attorney General filed their 185 affidavits in response to the 53 grounds that NUP legal team had raised to prove that the election was rigged, and wasn't free and fair.
On Sunday, lawyers of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) said that Bobi Wine faces heavy financial implications if he dares to withdraw the petition challenging Museveni’s victory from the Supreme Court.
"Well, it's his decision. However, I need to inform you that the withdraw of the case of this nature, particularly, the presidential election petition is not just withdrawn casually. There is a process. The law provides the manner in which this withdraw has to happen," said Oscar Kihika, the director of the NRM legal department, told ChimpReports.
Adding: "So, I hope his lawyers are advising him about this action of his, because to withdraw the petition, there is specific provisions of Presidential Elections Rules which say that withdraw number one, you need permission of the court. In order to do so, you to file an application which has to be supported by an affidavit.”