Court name
HC: Civil Division (Uganda)
Case number
Civil Revision 6 of 2006
Judgment date
14 April 2014

Ekweu v The Registered Trustees of Church of Uganda, Serere (Civil Revision 6 of 2006) [2014] UGHCCD 56 (14 April 2014);

Cite this case
[2014] UGHCCD 56

IN THE HIGH COURT OF UGANDA AT SOROTI

CIVIL REVISION 6 OF 2006

ARISING FROM SOROTI CHIEF MAGISTRATE’S COURT CIVIL APPEAL 4 OF 2007

EKWEU  CHRISTINE .........................................                                                                                                               APPLICANT

                                                                                                                                VERSUS

THE REGISTERED TRUSTEES OF CHURCH OF UGANDA , SERERE.

BEFORE HON. LADY JUSTICE H. WOLAYO

RULING

This application for  revision came up for hearing on   24.2.2014 and both Mr. Anguria for the applicant and Mr. Erabu for the respondent conceded that  the application for revision be allowed . I  undertook to study the court record and satisfy myself that indeed the  orders of the Chief magistrate should be revised.

I am grateful to both counsel for their written submissions on the law   regulating revision orders. Ms. Anguria & co. Advocates correctly cited the possible grounds for  revision as stipulated in section 83 of the CPA . These are that

  1. The court failed to exercise jurisdiction vested in it by law.
  2. The court acted in excess of jurisdiction
  3. The court  failed to exercise jurisdiction
  4. The court exercised jurisdiction but with material irregularity .

Both counsel   are in agreement that HW Maruk  acted with material irregularity when he ordered the LCIII court of Olio sub county to re-hear an appeal  from the LCII court of Osuguru .

An examination of the judgment of the chief magistrate  and proceedings of LCII and LCIII  reveals that the case commenced in LCII instead of LCI.  The chief magistrate found that the LCIII court heard the case afresh  instead  of  handling the case as an appeal.

However, section 35 of the Local Council Courts  Act 2006  empowers an appellate court to take fresh evidence or hear the case afresh. This is normal practice in all appellate courts. There was therefore no irregularity of the part of the LCIII  when it called witnesses and  visited the disputed land.

However, the fact that the case commenced in LCII instead of LC1  as stipulated in section 11  of the LCC Act 2006 is a material irregularity.

Under those circumstances, the chief magistrate ought to have quashed proceedings and judgment of LCIII court and ordered a re-trial in a competent court.

I accordingly find that the chief magistrate erred when he based his decision to quash LCIII proceedings  on an erroneous reasoning.  I substitute the order of the chief magistrate with an order quashing proceedings and judgments of LCII Osuguru  and LCIII Olio sub-county  on the basis that the case ought to  have commenced in the LCI court of the area.

I order a re-trial  before a grade one magistrate  within the chief magistrate’s magisterial area.

 

DATED AT SOROTI THIS    14TH DAY OF   APRIL 2014.

HON. LADY JUSTICE H. WOLAYO