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Uganda Presidential hopeful sentenced to 3 years in jail for calling judges ‘fools’

The Supreme court has found a petitioner, Ivan Samuel Ssebadduka guilty of contempt of court, and sentenced him to serve three years in the Uganda Government Prison Kitalya.

 

The panel of seven justices rejected his abusive defense, where he had referred to the justices as ‘a council of fools’, ‘incompetent’, ‘foolish’ among other words, and noted that in order to protect the rule of law in the country and their mandate to serve justice, as the judiciary, the unremorseful Ssebadduka needed to first serve the three years in jail.

Even when he was asked to defend himself for use of abusive language in his petition, Ssebadduka appeared in person before the justices led by the chief justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo and further abused them terribly. The justices including Stellah Arach Amoko, Faith Mwondha, Paul Mugamba, Ezekiel Muhanguzi, Percy Night Tuhaise and Mike Chibita simply looked on in surprise with no words until they made a decision to jail him.

After the ruling, Ssebadduka was immediately handcuffed by security and driven to his next home of three years. The Supreme court decision in Uganda is final as it is the last appellate court in the country, and unless the justices choose for some reason to review their decision or Ssebadduka gets a presidential pardon, he will be expected to serve his entire jail term.

Trouble for Ssebadduka started in November when he was summoned by the Supreme court to explain why he shouldn’t be found guilty for contempt of court. The justices accused him of using abusive language against judges in his application in which he wanted the Supreme court to block virtual presidential candidate campaigns and suspend the requirement for presidential aspirants to collect signatures for their nominations.

Ssebadduka appeared before court as summoned but responded with more insults.

“We didn’t offend you or you’re so-called Supreme court because it is not a court in the first place. It is a council of fools…” reads in part Ssebadduka’s response filed in the court registry on November 7, 2020.

Ssebadduka wondered whether the justices were ‘drunk’ to fix his petition for hearing or under influence of drugs since they didn’t have jurisdiction to hear his petition. He’d warned the justices to go slow on him, saying he knows all their under-table dealings which he is willing to expose.

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