AG Nyombi tasked to explain sh12.9b award

Parliament on Thursday put to task the Attorney General, Peter Nyombi, to explain the sh12.9b award to city lawyer Severino Twinobusingye by the Constitutional Court.

The directive by the Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga, came after Nyombi had for the second day failed to produce a written statement, as requested, on whether he had appealed against the court ruling.

Early this year, the Constitutional Court awarded Twinobusingye, a supporter of Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, sh12.9b as legal costs.

The award was in connection with a case in which Twinobusingye sued the Government challenging Parliament’s resolution to ask Mbabazi and two other Cabinet ministers to step aside as they investigated them over bribery allegations in the oil sector.

However, the astronomical award to an individual has since caused public uproar.

On Tuesday, the AG was scheduled to make a statement in Parliament about the award, but was not allowed to proceed because he did not have copies for members. Kadaga then instructed him to produce 300 copies for members for the statement to be debated on Thursday.

Patrick Amuriat (FDC) raised procedural issues as soon as Nyombi started making his submission.

The minister, Amuriat said, should be presenting to the House a ministerial statement, but instead he had brought correspondences between him and the Clerk, the court ruling and extracts of newspaper cuttings, which in his view did not constitute a ministerial statement.

SOURCE: ( New Vision story by Joyce Namutebi and Cyprian Musoke, 26th September, 2013 )