Early this week, Lady Justice Jane Frances Abodo the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) stepped down from office and delegated all her duties to Alice Komuhangi Khaukha to serve in acting capacity.
This was communicated to the staff of the DPP’s office in an internal memo dated 22nd March 2021
“Reference is made to DPP’s memo dated 2nd March 2021 where she delegated me to execute the functions of her office on her behalf during her absence on duty. I will continue executing these functions in light with constitution petition no 16 of 2016 dated March 2021.”
It has emerged now that Abodo was implementing the orders of the Constitutional Petition in which deceased city lawyer Bob Kasango challenged being prosecuted by the DPP who was illegally in office since he had not resigned as a judge before taking up another office .
The Justices unanimously ruled that it was wrong for the DPP, then Mike Chibita to prosecute cases while still referred to as a judge of the High Court.
The court however, ruled against quashing all cases prosecuted under Chibita, on grounds that these cases were also handled by other people who were legally in the DPP’s office.
Nonetheless, the judges ordered that from the day of this judgement onward, a judge who will be appointed in another office and doesn’t resign his duties will be null and void.
The judgement of justices Kenneth Kakuru, Geoffrey Kiryabwir, Cheborion Burishaki and Stephen Musota also affects Justice Simon Byabakama, the Chairperson of Electoral Commission who is still the judge of the Court of Appeal, having not resigned from the Judiciary.