The Attorney General has requested more time from the Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala to respond to an application by former Executive Director of the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), David Livingstone Ebiru, who seeks to halt his trial on bribery charges.
The prosecution alleges that between October and December 2022, Ebiru offered a gratification of 100 million Shillings to Charles Masekuura, the Chairperson of the UNBS board, in an attempt to secure his position as the Executive Director of UNBS. On August 8, 2023, the Chief Magistrates Court issued a warrant of arrest against Ebiru, directing the police to apprehend him immediately upon sight.
However, efforts to arrest him have been unsuccessful, leading him to file a case against the Attorney General, challenging the criminal trial. During a hearing before Lady Justice Jane Okuo Kajuga on Monday, State Attorney Henry Obbo from the Attorney General’s chambers informed the court that they had not filed a response on the court record and requested additional time.
As a result, they were granted two more days, and the case was adjourned to September 15, 2023, for a hearing. Ebiru’s petition to the High Court argues that he is aggrieved by the Inspectorate of Government’s (IGG) decision to prematurely sanction charges against him without conducting prior investigations.
He seeks to halt the trial, contending that his fundamental rights and freedoms were violated by the IGG’s actions in issuing a warrant of arrest and preferring charges. Ebiru also claims that there is a pending warrant of arrest in the anti-corruption court, and there is an imminent threat of its enforcement, rendering his application useless. In the main substantive case, Ebiru seeks to have the criminal summons, warrant of arrest, and trial declared illegal.
He also requests a permanent injunction against the IGG and her agents from instituting charges against him and an order for compensation against the government for violating his fundamental rights. While it is alleged that Ebiru admitted to bribing the UNBS board with 100 million shillings to evade suspension, which he allegedly borrowed, he contends that he made these statements out of anger and has never actually bribed anyone.