In The Appeal Judgment in The Case of Ernest Enzama V Uganda On The 25th Of June 2019 Arising from Criminal Appeal No.0323 Of 2015.
CORAM; MUSOKE ELIZABETH, STEPHEN MUSOTA AND PERCY NIGHT TUHAISE, JJA
The background of this appeal is that the appellant was convicted for the offence of corruptly offering gratification contrary to section 2(b) and section 26(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act in the Magistrate Grade one and subjected to 12 months of imprisonment. The appellant dissatisfied with the above decision appealed to the High Court Anti-corruption division which dismissed the appeal and confirmed the trial courts conviction and sentence. Being dissatisfied with that decision too, the appellant lodged this appeal on grounds that the appellant judge erred in law when he failed to re-evaluate the evidence on record and thereby arrived at a wrong decision conclusion.
The court pointed the law guiding the second appellant court on its duty under section 45(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code Act that either party to an appeal may appeal a decision to the Court of Appeal on a matter of law, not including severity of sentence, but not on a matter of fact or of mixed fact and law. However, it was held that the second appellant court can re-evaluate evidence where it is shown that the first appellant court did not evaluate evidence or where they were proved manifestly wrong on findings of fact in order to ensure that justice is properly and truly served.
However, in re-evaluating the court found that the learned judge of the first appellant court was alive to the ingredients of the offence in question and went at great length to appraise the evidence concerning each ingredient. The court was unable to accept the thrust of the appellant’s submissions that the learned judge did not appropriately re-appraise the evidence because basing on the record, the learned judge re-appraised the evidence and the judgment of the trial court and came up with concurrent findings with the learned trial magistrate. The appeal therefore failed on grounds that the appellant did not persuade the court that the first appellant court had not re-evaluated the evidence and he failed to point out instances where his right to fair trial was violated during court. Court therefore agreed with the above observations of the learned first appellant judge.
In the appeal judgment of the case of Sebandeke Abdu v Uganda on the 20th of June 2019 arising from criminal appeal No. 287 of 2010.
CORAM; EGONDA-NTENDE, OBURA AND MADRAMA, JJA
The background of the case is that the appellant was charged, tried and convicted of rape contrary to sections 123 and 124 of the Penal Code Act and sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment. The facts were that the appellant had raped a woman over 80 years of age. During the trial the appellant had spent two years and seven months on remand. The appellant aggrieved with the High Court, appealed to this court and the issue was, whether the learned trial judge erred in law sentencing the appellant to an illegal, harsh and excessive sentence of 20 years not taking into account the period spent on remand?
The learned justices took in consideration the duty of the first appellant court which is to retry matters of facts by freshly scrutinizing the evidence and reach its own conclusions on any factual controversies for resolution. The court also noted there should be an issue of consistency in the sentences of rape cases as raised by the appellant’s counsel. There is need to maintain a uniformity of sentences as most rape sentences were ranging from 10 to 15 years of imprisonment. The main issue was resolved as regards to the law, Article 23 (8) that informs judges to take into account the period spent on remand before sentencing, and if he had, the appellant was still a child before the conviction hence making the sentence lesser. The court allowed the appeal and set aside the sentence of the High Court as an illegality and imposed a sentence of 15 years as appropriate under the circumstances. The court also deducted 2years and 7months that the appellant spent in lawful custody making his sentence 12years and 5months imprisonment which shall run from the date of conviction on 15th October 2010.