By Mirembe Martina
Although she was convicted and sentenced, Bad Black has a chance at being free if a petition in the Constitutional Court is approved.
The petition seeks to declare the Anti-Corruption Court unconstitutional. The petition was filed by a group of lawyers who seek the Constitutional court to nullify all judgments made by the now suspended Magistrate’s court of the Anti-Corruption court since its inception in 2009.
Fred Muwema, Friday Kagolo and Richard Mulema Mukasa, representing Davis Wesley Tusingwire, the petitioner, contend that former Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki erred in law when he formed a Magistrates court within a High court division. Bad Black however will not be the only one to see light at the end of the tunnel.
Others who face being set free include Teddy Ssezi Cheeye, Shanita Namuyimbwa aka Bad Black and Godfrey Kazinda, formerly of the Prime Minister’s office, among others. The current 251 cases pending in the court could be dismissed. The petition is before acting Deputy Chief Justice, Steven Kavuma, aided by judges Remmy Kasule, Geoffrey Kiryabwire, Solomy Balungi Bossa and Lillian Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza.
Muwema cited Article 138 of the Constitution saying, “The composition of the High court has no magistrates and therefore they can’t exercise judicial powers outside the mandate of the Constitution,” Muwema argued.
Muwema said Odoki violated the Constitution when he created the Magistrates court in the High court without going through Parliament as demanded by Article 150 of the Constitution. “Should this court [Constitutional court] find that the Magistrate’s court at the High court, Anti-Corruption division, is an incompetent court and derogates the accused’s right to a fair hearing, you should order that all the proceedings since its inception are null and void…,” Muwema argued.
Mulema Mukasa, told court that since the Magistrates court was acting as a High court, it was hard to tell who was supervising the other. “The Magistrates court is supposed to be a subordinate court but now in this situation, it’s at the same level as the High court; so, who supervises the other?” he asked.