The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (CID) has learnt with concerns that there is a growing habit of some people not complying with Criminal summons that have been issued ordering them to attend to allegations against them by the issuing Court.
Summons is applied for by the Prosecutor when the accused person doesn’t appear in Court where he/she has been charged. The Criminal summons are legitimate Court Orders that bear the Court reference number, signature and seal of the issuing Court clearly indicating the allegations against the Accused as well as the time and date of appearing.
Whereas this is one of the practices in the in the criminal justice system, CID has learnt that a cross section of people have deliberately disregarded the summons with flimsy excuse that they have appealed the first Opinion of having them charged to Court to the DPP for consideration of rescinding /reversing the decision.
Whereas the ODDP receives and indeed addresses complaints that have been brought to their office professionally, Ugandans needs to know that such complaints are administrative matters which do not in any way supersede the legitimate Court Orders (Criminal Summons).
This is therefore to remind all Ugandans that failure to comply to Criminal Summons issued by a competent Court may be proceeded with the application for Warrant of Arrest by the State Prosecutor, with reasonable suspicion under oath, that the Accused intends to defeat justice to the trial Judge/Magistrate.
Therefore, as a society that cherishes the rule of law, we appeal to all of you Ugandans to observe and respect the lawful Court orders in cooperation with other actors with ease, without prejudice to enhance the delivery of Criminal Justice.
Relatedly, the Directorate has also noticed another bad habit of some people sometimes being the victims of crime and in most cases being people of distinguished social and Political status ignoring witness summons to come and testify in Court.
Caution should be taken that the Magistrates Courts Acts MCA provides that some witnesses are competent and therefore can be compelled to testify in a case where the state has reasonable grounds to believe that their testimony is critical in the trial process. Failure to come to Court after proof of service of witness summons may force the state to apply for criminal summons or warrant of arrest.
Such witnesses do not only delay the disposal of criminal cases, but can lead to the dismissal of such cases by the trial Judge /Magistrate for want of prosecution which inevitably affects justice to the citizenry/State.
The above circumstance is very undesirable to the law enforcement considering the fact that society real believes in every person supporting the criminal justice system. Let us therefore join synergies to enable the rule of law to thrive without any inconvenience to the robust established criminal justice system.
D/ASP. Twiine Mansio Charles
January 17, 2022