Odoki Reappointment Unconstitutional
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The Constitutional Court has ruled that the re-appointment of Benjamin Odoki as Chief Justice is unconstitutional.
Justices Solomy Balungi Bossa, Remmy Kasule Lilian Tibatemwa and Eldad Mwanguhya ruled that the 1995 constitution does not provide for such reappointment.
Since his re-appointment in August last year there has been a protracted legal battle among the legal fraternity over its consitutionality.
President Museveni, in a letter dated August 9, 2013 to Speaker Rebeccah Kadaga, stated that, “… In exercise of powers vested in the President by Articles 142(1), 143 and 253 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, I have appointed Benjamin Odoki as Chief Justice on a two year contract. This is therefore to forward his name to you for parliamentary approval.
Following his reapppointment, Attorney General Peter Nyombi said there were constitutional provisions which allowed the appointing authority to appoint people aged 70 years and above.
Interestingly in his argument Nyombi then, contrary to the Monday morning ruling, argued that:
Article 142 (2) states, in part, that “the President may, acting on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission, appoint a person qualified for appointment as a Justice of the Supreme Court or a Justice of Appeal or a Judge of the High Court to act as such a justice or judge even though that person has attained the age prescribed for retirement in respect of that office.”
Justice Odoki retired in March last year after clocking the retirement age of 70 years.
He, however, left office in June after serving a three months’ extension retired judges are given to complete pending work.