By Our Reporter
“The integrity and powers of judicial service commission will collapse if his lordship justice Benjamin Odoki is reappointed as the chief justice.” This was a remark made by the chairman of Judicial Service Commission, James Ogola while appearing before parliamentary committee on legal and internal Affairs on Monday.
Justice Ogola said that, the Judicial Service Commission has already advised the president over the matter of re-appointing Odoki but he has kept a deaf ear.
During a closed door meeting with legislators sitting on legal committee, Justice Ogola said that re-appointing Odoki for other 2years contradicts with the constitution because the constitution says that, once a chief justice clockS 70years, he/she has to retire.
The source sitting on the committee said that, unless the constitution is amended, re-appointing Odoki for more 2years is unconstitutional.
Justice Ogola also told MPs that, once parliament approves the appointment of Odoki, it will undermine the integrity of the Judicial Service Commission.
The committee further pinned Ogola to answer whether the commission advised the president on the re-appointment of Odoki. Mr Ogola answered that “We did our role to advise the president over the matter but the president went ahead to re-appoint him for more 2years.We also gave alternative names to people to repressing Odoki but they were ignored by the president and went ahead to re-appoint him for more 2years” Ogola noted.
President Yoweri Museveni wrote to the speaker of parliament asking her to approve Benjamin Odoki as Chief Justice on a two year contract.
Museveni in a letter dated August 9 2013 to Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, stated that, “… In exercise of powers vested in the President by Articles 142(1), 143 and 253 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, I have appointed Benjamin Odoki as Chief Justice on a two year contract. This is therefore to forward his name to you for parliamentary approval.