Retired Supreme Court Justice, John Wilson Tsekooko Dies

Retired Supreme Court Justice, John Wilson Tsekooko. (Photo: The Observer)

Retired Supreme Court Justice, John Wilson Nattubu Tsekooko, has died. The retired Justice is said to have passed on Monday, at Norvik Hospital in Kampala, where he was admitted.

His death was announced in a statement posted by the Judiciary although no details have been provided as yet.

Tsekooko served in different capacities in the Ugandan judiciary including Judge, State Attorney and later Justice of the Supreme Court, the highest court.

In the early 1990s, he was appointed judge of the High Court.

Tsekooko was a state attorney in the DPP’s department from December 1968 to December 1974 when he resigned and went in private practice.

In May 1979, he left Uganda and went into exile.

In 1994, there was a vacancy at the Supreme Court and Tsekooko was nominated by the Judicial Service Commission for the position. He was appointed by President Yoweri Museveni to the Supreme Court bench.

The Retired Justice is remembered for twice ruling against President Museveni in 2001 and 2006 presidential election petitions.

In 2001 and 2006, Justice Tsekooko was among the minority judges that allowed Museveni’s challenger, Rtd Col Dr Kizza Besigye’s petition (annulled Museveni’s victory) and called for fresh elections.

Tsekooko is also remembered as having served as a lawyer, representing former President, Apollo Milton Obote back in 1980 in a defamation case which Museveni (then an election candidate) had filed against Obote.

Obote had alleged that Museveni was not a Ugandan to qualify for election. As such, Museveni sued Obote for defamation and Tsekooko was instructed to defend Obote against the case.

Asked in June 2018 in an interview by The Observer newspaper to comment about his retirement, Tsekooko said; “Retirement means a lot of things. It depends on the situation of an individual”.

“I am leading a normal life. I must say I am surviving. Of course, the general view is that life after retirement depends on how one had planned for retirement. In our culture, plans for good life are interrupted by dependants, particularly if you live in Uganda.  All the same I am surviving and fairly busy,” Tsekooko said at the time.

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