Parliament Pays Tribute to Justice Aweri

Parliament paid glowing tribute to the fallen Supreme Court Judge, Rubby Opio Aweri on Tuesday afternoon. Justice Aweri, 69, died on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, after succumbing to a stroke at Mulago National Referral Hospital bringing to an end to 39 years of what many of his allies described as his ‘distinguished judicial career.’

Justice Aweri’s remains arrived at Parliament in a casket adorned with the national flag. Speaker Anita Among and the Government Chief Whip, Denis Hamson Obua recieved the casket before it was wheeled into the lobby and later into the chambers for a State funeral. Dozens of the Members of Parliament, Ministers, and high-ranking judicial officials led by Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo Chigamoi paid their last respect to the deceased Judge during a special plenary chaired by Among.

It followed a motion moved by Premier Robinah Nabbanja for a resolution of Parliament to pay tribute to the deceased judge. While seconding the motion, Mathias Mpuuga, the Leader of Opposition – LOP described Justice Aweri as an ‘exceptional’ career judicial officer whose tenure in the administration of justice dealt decisively with the backlog of court cases and implored other judicial officers to emulate him.

Butembe County Member of Parliament, Livingstone David Zijjan also the Dean of Independent legislators seconded the Premier’s motion and lauded the legacy of Justice Aweri of denouncing corruption and apathy while he exercised his legal expertise as a tool to correct wrongs rather than a tool of persecution.

Norbert Mao, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, who knew Justice Aweri personally expressed gratitude towards the deceased’s humanity, capacity for hard work, and intolerance to corruption in the judiciary when he was named the ‘Inspector of Courts’ in 2017 until his death.

The lawmakers amended the motion and proposed that key roads in the 15 newly created cities should be identified and named in memory of the departed Supreme Court Judge. They also proposed that a High-Tech Library be built at Lango College in Lira City, where the deceased had initiated a process of resource mobilization.

Speaker Among later adjourned the House sine-die after close to three hours of the plenary session. A tentative burial program released by the family, Justice Aweri will be buried on Friday, December 16, 2022, at his ancestral home in Acungapenyi Cell in Kachung Western Ward, Agwata Town Council in Dokolo District.

Justice Aweri was born in Dokolo District in 1953 to the late Samwiri Opio Aweri. He held a Bachelor of Laws and Master of Law from Makerere University, and a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre – LDC.

His career started in 1982, as a legal assistant in Soroti District. In 1983, Opio Aweri was appointed a Grade One magistrate before he gradually rose through the ranks and in 1998, was appointed a judge of the High Court

In 2014, he was promoted to the Uganda Court of Appeal before being elevated to the Supreme Court in September 2015. In August 2017, the Judiciary named him as the new Chief Inspector of Courts for a three-year term.

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