ARUSHA, Tanzania, January 19, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Alcon International Limited, a construction company based in Kenya, has asked the Appellate Division of the EACJ to set aside a ruling by the Court’s First Instance Division striking out its matter on grounds that it was improperly before the Court.
Appearing before Justices Harold Nsekela, President, Laurent Nzosaba and James Ogoola on Wednesday 18 January 2012, Mr. Fred Athwok, Advocate, representing Alcon International Limited, argued that the First Instance Division was wrong in ruling that it had no jurisdiction to hear the matter according to Article 27 of the EAC Treaty and Article 54 of the Common Market Protocol without considering all the issues raised by the parties in their submissions.
The subject matter is an award of $8,858,469, with interest and costs, made in favor of Alcon International by an arbitrator and adopted by the High Court of Uganda. The award arose from a contract between the Government of Uganda and Alcon International Limited (Kenya) who later sub-contracted Alcon International Limited (Uganda) to finish the construction of the Workers House building, leading to a dispute about which Alcon company should be paid for the work done.
Uganda Principal State Attorney Ms. Patricia Mutesi however asked Court to uphold the ruling of the First Instance Division and dismiss Alcon’s appeal with costs because the company had abandoned proceedings in Uganda to seek redress at the EACJ. She argued it would be improper for the EAC judicial organ to entertain matters similar and pending in a national court.
The Court will deliver its judgment on notice.
About the EACJ
The East African Court of Justice (EACJ or ‘the Court’), is one of the organs of the East African Community established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. Established in November 2001, the Court’s major responsibility is to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the EAC Treaty.
Arusha is the temporary seat of the Court until the Summit determines its permanent seat. The High Courts of the Partner States serve as sub-registries.
East African Court of Justice (EACJ)