Big Blow: High Court dismisses notorious RDC Eric Sakwa Judicial review case

The High Court has dismissed an application for judicial review filed by embattled Jinja RDC Eric Sakwa . Whisper Eye Reports.

The application was filed against the Attorney General and Haji Kakande Yunus as respondents in May this year.

The applicant through his lawyers Caleb Alaka , Ochieng Evans and Nyote David Innocent challenged the second respondents action to interdict the applicant from the office of the RDC Jinja District.

He also challenged the actions of the agents of the first respondent who were forcing the applicant from office.

The applicant was arrested and charged with manslaughter and was subsequently remanded to prison on Friday 24 April, 2020.

The second respondent wrote to the applicant informing him that he had been interdicted and barred from exercising the powers and functions of his office as Resident District Commissioner pending completion of the case/charges of manslaughter against him.

The applicant asked court for a prerogative order of certiorari to be issued to quash the decision of the secretary of the office of the president signed by the second respondent interdicting him.

The applicant also asked court for an order of prohibition to be issued to restrain the respondent’s agents from forcing the Applicant out of the office pursuant to the said letter of interdiction

When the matter came up for hearing, the government lawyers led by Musota Brian and Jackie Amusugut avers that the Applicant is a senior civil servant whose emoluments are payable directly from the consolidated fund or directly out of monies provided by parliament and asked court to dismiss the matter..

The ruling before Hon. Justice Jeanne Rwakakooko

In the ruling on Whisper Eye desk issued today , The first issue on whether the interdiction of the applicant was lawful , The judge agreed with the submission of counsel for the respondents and found that the applicant, though appointed by the president in accordance with the constitution of the republic of Uganda, is a public officer and bound by the public service standing orders.

The second issue whether the 2nd respondent had the mandate to interdict the applicant the judged ruled that, I am inclined to agree with counsel for the respondents that by virtue of regulation 38 of the public service commission regulations, SI No. 1 of 2009, the 2nd respondent, being the “responsible officer” in the president’s office, had the legal capacity to interdict the applicant who is a “public officer”, stopping him from exercising his powers and performing the functions of the office of the RDC, Jinja, until the applicant is cleared of the charge of manslaughter against him. the Judged added.

The third issue whether the Applicant was entitled to be heard prior to the interdiction and whether the decision to interdict the Applicant was irrational.

The judge had this to rule, that the decision to interdict is not subject to the right to be heard first since interdiction is but a first step towards disciplinary proceedings.  Therefore, there was no need for the Applicant to be heard before he was interdicted.

The ruling comes when president Museveni wrote to Eric Sakwa ordering him to go on forced leave for 60 days to force a marathon criminal investigations into his case.

Whether Eric Sakwa was satisfied with the court ruling he was unavailable for a comment despite our several unanswered calls .