Aruu County MP Odonga Otto has withdrawn his legal counsel services to the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga due to non payment of outstanding legal fees. The legislator’s law firm ‘Odonga Otto and Company Advocates’ which has been handling several of Speaker Kadaga’s court cases claims that she is indebted with a sum of Ush 24 million in legal fees.
The notice to withdraw services is contained in a letter addressed to Kadaga, dated September 29 making reference to four civil court cases in which the client (Kadaga) was suing newspapers; Daily Monitor, Red Pepper and Kamunye.
The letter indicates that one of the cases (Civil Suit No. 56) in the High Court against The Pepper Publications and others was handled by the law firm to conclusion and subsequently, Justice Nyanzi ruled in favor of Speaker Kadaga awarding her Ush 120 million.
“You are aware that you have not paid us any legal fees regarding the matter to date,” the letter stated.
It adds; “Be further notified that we have withdrawn from all your cases and we shall proceed to tax our bill on Civil Suit No. 56 of 2013 henceforth.”
“This is to therefore demand that you pay our legal fees of Ush 24 million expected in 14 days from the date of receipt if this notice and we shall hand over your files to your new Advocates upon full payment.”
In the event that Kadaga fails to settle the outstanding fees, the firm has threatened to file a suit against Speaker Kadaga for attachment of her property including a hotel she owns in Kamuli.
The timing of the decision by the firm to withdraw its services to the Speaker however appears to be convenient especially given the widening rift between the ruling party and the opposition MPs.
Odonga Otto, an opposition MP was among the 25 MPs that were suspended by Speaker Kadaga a member of the NRM two days ago, for a period of three Parliamentary sittings for indecent conduct. Otto would moments later be dragged out of the Parliament chamber by security operatives despite his resistance.
A day before that, Otto told journalists; “The issue of suspension is not new. I have been suspended before. Where we are, it requires being proactive. But we ask the Speaker to be cautious because she is a member of NRM.”