Lawyer Male Mabirizi has filed a petition in the Civil Division of High court challenging the trial of Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine in a military court.
Last week, Kyagulanyi was charged in the army court in Gulu with unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition. He was later remanded to Makindye military barracks until August 23. In his petition, Mabirizi sues the attorney general quoting the UPDF Act on some of the sections that bar civilians from being tried in a military court.
He says that the law contravenes with the Constitution Articles 8(a) 20(1) among others which guarantee rule of law, equality before the law, right to life, fair hearing and Article 210 which mandates parliament to only make laws to regulate the discipline of UPDF.
Mabirizi states that the actions of the army to remand and sentence non-members of the army to the military barracks/facilities after appearing before the General Court Martial are inconsistent because the Act contravenes with the supreme law of the Constitution and violates the independence of the judiciary.
Mabirizi now wants court to order an injunction restraining UPDF, the respondent his agents and all persons or bodies claiming through him from enforcing their military laws to civilians.
He also wants court to order the respondent, his agent or to unconditionally release Kyagulanyi or any other civilian who was charged or convicted or sentenced under the sections 119(1)g, 119(1)(h), 161(1)(a), (b) and c, 161(3) and 161(4) of the UPDF, Act, 2005.
Mabirizi also wants awards of general damages due to disturbance and anguish caused to him arising out of the actions complained against in the petition.
In June, former Bubulo West member of parliament Tony Nsubuga Kipoi also challenged his trial by the army court. Kipoi who was arrested in Botswana before being extradited back to Uganda was charged together with other UPDF soldiers of plotting to overthrow the government.
In May, boda-boda 2010 patron Abdallah Kitatta also petitioned the High court at Kampala, challenging his trial at the General Court Martial. Kitatta argued that that the trial is illegal and violates Article 28(7) of the Constitution.