Nigerian human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has filed a complaint at the United Nations against Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, for illegally detaining his main opponent in the recently concluded Presidential election, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.
Uganda electoral commission had on Saturday declared Museveni winner of Thursday, January 14, 2021 election after polling received 58% of the vote.
Bobi Wine, a former reggae singer and candidate of the National Unity Platform (NUP), won 34% of the vote. But Wine is alleging that the vote was rigged, as election officials face questions over how results were tallied amid an Internet blackout.
Meanwhile, the Ugandan military surrounded Bobi Wine’s house since Thursday night, keeping him and his family incommunicado and in an unofficial house arrest.
On Tuesday, the United States Government announced that the US Ambassador to Uganda, Natalie Brown, had been barred from seeing Bobi Wine.
Falana said in a statement on Tuesday that Bobi Wine had been denied access to his lawyers in a bid to prevent him from filing a petition against the declaration of Museveni as the winner of the highly flawed Presidential election.
“We have submitted a complaint against the government of Uganda to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concerning the detention of the detained couple,” Falana said.
The complaint by Falana, which was attached to the statement, read in part,
“Mr. Wine and his wife are being illegally detained for days without any criminal charges preferred against him. He has also been denied adequate supply of food by hundreds of Uganda military forces and policemen who have laid siege to his house for the umpteenth time since the election day.
“I am therefore seeking an opinion from the Working Group finding the house arrest and continuing detention of Mr. Wine and his wife to be arbitrary and in violation of Uganda’s Constitution of 1995 (as amended) and obligations under international human rights law including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which Uganda is a state party.”
Uganda election was marred by pre-election violence and the government’s use of security forces to crack down on the opposition. No fewer than 50 people died during a protest after Bobi Wine was arrested during a campaign rally. We would later be arrested at least three other times.
Bobi Wine’s car was also shot at and his bodyguard killed by security forces.
On Monday, Wine in a tweet on Monday said he and his family had run out of food.