Lawyers to the NUP former presidential candidate have finally presented their application to withdraw their election petition at the Supreme Court, challenging the victory of president Yoweri Museveni.

Under section 61 of the Presidential Elections Act, a presidential election petition can only be withdrawn with the leave of court, hence the need for the application.

His lawyers represented by Medard Segona today at about 9 am filed their application, which has been received by the supreme court.

Kyagulanyi says the decision to withdraw the Petition has been influenced by the foregoing factors and not by any corrupt bargain or consideration from the respondents or any other person.

“The Petitioner lost time during the illegal house detention. But this honorable court is more inclined towards the strict timelines, which has disadvantaged the Petitioner to the disadvantage of the respondents”, reads the application in part. In his affidavit supporting the application.

He also argued that state operatives seized their political party offices under the command of Museveni and the Attorney General’s agents, which made it difficult for him to file relevant affidavits and evidence in support of his petition on time.

In his application, Kyagulanyi explains that the supreme court dismissed his application for extra time to file additional affidavits.

Kyagulanyi says his witnesses were abducted, tortured, and intimidated by security agencies including the police whereas others are being investigated.

“The petitioner lost time during the illegal house detention but this honorable court is more inclined towards the strict timelines which have disadvantaged the petitioner to the advantage of the respondents,” Kyagulanyi said.

The supreme court on the 19th Feb rejected Kyagulanyi’s request to file more affidavits comprising of videos, photos, and audio clips frustrating effective Prosecution of the petition.

“The petitioner’s application for extension of time for filing of additional affidavits was disallowed thus frustrating effective Prosecution of the petition,” reads the application.  

He also states that the court has applied the rules governing the Presidential Election Petition to his disadvantage by rejecting his application to amending his pleadings.

He also argues that the organs of the state like the Uganda Police Force and National Identification of Registrations of Persons Authority -NIRA, are being used by the respondents to investigate and infringe on his privacy and that of his witnesses.

Kyagulanyi’s application is supported by his own affidavit.

He said the unusual circumstances included the fact that his lawyers were operating mobile law firms due to insecurity and fear that state operatives may steal the evidence like the case was during the Amama Mbabazi Presidential Election Petition in 2016.

“After deeply reflecting upon the foregoing circumstances, I reached a decision that withdrawing the instant petition is the right thing to do since this court is not handling the petition with the independence, impartiality, and equality I expected of it.”

According to Section 20 Subsection 3 of the Presidential Elections Act, “an application for leave to withdraw a petition shall be supported by an affidavit of the Petitioner and his or her advocate, if any stating to the best of their knowledge and belief that no agreement or terms or of any kind has or have been made or undertaking made in relation to the petition or, if any lawful agreement has been made, stating the terms of the agreement.”