Court hears oral evidence for a Ugandan citizen over his alleged arrest & detention as terrorist suspect

East African Court of Justice Arusha, 6th March 2017: The First Instance Division heard oral evidence by Malcolm Lukwiya in his case he sued the Attorney General of the Republic of Uganda and the Attorney General Republic of Kenya alleging that on 1st July 2015, he was arrested and detained by the Agents of the Republic of Kenya, and extradited to the Republic of Uganda for being a terrorist suspect. The Applicant says that the 1st Respondent (Uganda) also detained him without lawful cause.

In the Reference which was filed on 27th October 2016, the Applicant complains that the Republics of Uganda and Kenya failed to honor their obligations provided in the Treaty on respecting the basic principle guiding the Community provided under Articles 6 (d) and 7 (2) of the Treaty on good governance, rule of law and respecting human right. The Applicant said that failure to do that is an infringement of the Treaty and therefore seeks the court to declare that; the actions of the agents of the both respondents were highhanded, illegal and unconstitutional and were in violation of the fundamental principles of the community stipulated in Art 6 (d) and 7 (2) of the East African Community Treaty and also asks to be awarded the costs of the Reference.

During a cross examination by the 2nd Respondent (Kenya), represented by Ms. Wambui Ng’ang’a, Lukwiya said that he was mistreated by the Kenyan police, however that he never complained to the Court of Kenya and he didn’t even have medical evidence to prove the torture and mistreatment he complained of. The Applicant also said that he did not file a suite of the alleged actions against the Kenya police. He also added that, he was arrested with someone called Sadati Senabulya who he called “a stranger”, whom he said that they only met in the cyber café in Uganda and Lukwiya assisted him in searching for gold buyers on internet. He further admitted that him and Sadat further organized to meet in Kenya where they were both arrested and detained for 30 days while carrying out investigations.

While being re-examined by his Lawyer Mr. Rwakafuzi Ladislous, Lukwiya said that when he was arrested and taken to court, he was not allowed to have a Lawyer and at the same time was neither allowed to call any relative nor to talk to a Doctor for medical checkup. He also said that he could not file a suite in the courts of Kenya due to financial limitation but he said that he still has plans to file a case in Kenyan courts of law.

The Applicant Lukwiya, was also asked by Court what he does, he said he is a student, the time he was arrested he was in senior four vacation , and upto today he has never gone back to school due to lack of financial resources.

Previously in November 2016, Court ordered the Applicant to amend his Reference and to find the next friend to represent him to give evidence because he was a minor 17 years old at the time he filed the case. He amended his Reference but requested the Court to allow him to prosecute the case in his name since he had attained the age of majority. He now claims to be an adult of 21 years old and told court that his mother had told him a wrong year of his birth and his Father gave him the right one.

The republic of Uganda did not cross-examine the Applicant and the Court will give notice on the dates for highlighting their written submissions.

The matter was before Honorable Lady Justice Monica Mugenyi (Principal Judge), Honorable Mr. Justice Isaac Lenaola (Deputy Principal Judge), Honorable Dr. Justice Faustin Ntezilyayo, Honorable Mr. Justice Fakihi A. Jundu and Honorable Mr. Justice Audace Ngiye in open Court.

About the EACJ

The East African Court of Justice (EACJ or ‘the Court’), is one of the organs of the East African Community established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. Established in November 2001, the Court’s major responsibility is to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the EAC Treaty.

Arusha is the temporary seat of the Court until the Summit determines its permanent seat. The Court’s sub-registries are located in the respective National Courts in the Partner States.

For more information please contact:
Yufnalis Okubo, Registrar, East African Court of Justice. Tel: 255-27-2162149
East African Court of Justice
Arusha, Tanzania

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