Ex-MP Michael Mabikke’s Suit Against LDC Over Revoked Diploma Struck Out

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Michael Mabikke, the former Makindye East Member of the Ugandan Parliament has again lost a case in which he wanted Court to force the Law Development Centre (LDC) to reinstate his diploma in Legal Practice that was revoked in 2016. 

Mabikke ran to Court in 2020 challenging the decision by the Management Committee of the Bar Course institution to revoke his diploma in legal practice saying it was unconstitutional, wrongful, unjust, illegal, null, void, arbitrary, and contrary to the principles of natural justice.

However, LDC objected to Mabikke’s suit, and in its response, LDC averred that Mabikke was seeking to relitigate a matter that had already been determined not only by the High Court but also by the Court of Appeal. 

LDC asked the Court to dismiss the suit on the ground that the matters raised in the main suit regarding the Forensic Audit Report were the same matters adjudicated upon in the 2013 suit and the same was conclusively resolved.

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In his ruling, High Court Judge Boniface Wamala found that all the grounds in Mabikke’s suit were incompetent. 

“ The part of the claim that seeks to impeach and quash the report and proceedings of the ‘Dr. Pamela Committee’ is wrongly before the Court since it could only be properly pursued by way of judicial review. This mainly includes the part that was saved under the doctrine of res judicata.

Such a claim cannot be entertained by this Court under the ordinary civil procedure even if all that the plaintiff was seeking were declaratory orders. The Court would have no basis to make any findings for purposes of considering the issuance of any declarations. Similarly, the party seeking enforcement of human rights was also wrongly brought by plaint and, for the reasons shown above, the same cannot be sustained before the Court,”  

Judge Wamala’s ruling reads in part.

“ In the circumstances, therefore, the points of objection raised by the Applicant [LDC] have substantially succeeded… I find that the plaint in HCCS No. 202 of 2020 is an abuse of the court process and is incompetent. The Application is accordingly allowed with an order that the plaint is struck out as prayed for by the Applicant. The costs of the application and the main suit shall be met by the Respondent.”

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Following numerous complaints about examination malpractices at LDC, the only institution in Uganda mandated to award Diplomas in Legal Practice set up an audit committee to conduct a preliminary investigation into the allegations from 2004 and 2011.

In its preliminary report, the audit committee found, among others, that there were discrepancies in the award of the postgraduate diploma to several people including Mr. Micheal Mabikke and Mr. Denis Mukasa Mbidde, the former MP for the East African Legislative Assembly. 

Based on the findings of the committee, LDC revoked both Mbidde and Mabikke’s diplomas prompting them to run to Court to seek redress. 

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