Crime & InvestigationSpecial Reports

FACEBOOK SUIT: Muwema Lodges Appeal; Demands TVO’s Identity, Arrest

Lawyer Fred Muwema has filed a notice of appeal at the Court of Appeal in Ireland to overturn a lower court’s previous ruling that refused to grant orders to Facebook to reveal the identity of account holder, approved Tom Voltaire Okwalinga alias TVO.

Muwema submits that the learned High Court Judge Donald Binchy “erred in law or in a mixed question of law and fact in finding that the appellant was not in the circumstances of the case, sildenafil entitled to a disclosure.”

Okwalinga in 2016 posted on his/her Facebook profile that Muwema had received a bribe from government to frustrate his client Amama Mbabazi’s case challenging the election of President Museveni.

Okwalinga, who gained fame for writing negatively about government officials and the First Family, said Muwema broke into his own offices before claiming he was a victim of burglary

Muwema would later write to Facebook proprietor Mark Zuckerberg to reign in on the pseudo site user Okwalinga, for posting messages that were “grossly defamatory and offensive” against his (Muwema’s) person.

Muwema said his safety, reputation and credit were greatly endangered by Okwalinga’s posts.

“Since the …content is authored by a person of doubtful identity, I would like his or her identity to be discovered to support legal action which I intend to take against him or her,” he asked.

“To this end I request for internet protocol address of the user by the 29th March 2016 to be able to determine the user’s location, email, telephone address and other user identifier information.”


Facebook did not comply, compelling Muwema to take the social media site to the courts of law in Ireland where the company’s headquarters are situated.


The Irish High Court recently ruled that the posts and articles of TVO posted between 17th and 24th March 2016 were defamatory.

In his judgement dated August 23, 2016, Justice Binchy ordered TVO to take down the contested posts as a condition for maintaining TVO’s anonymity and not being subjected to a disclosure order.

The Judge agreed with TVO’s defence that his exposure threatened the social media account holder’s safety and well-being.


Now in the notice of appeal seen by ChimpReports, Muwema contends that the Judge afforded too much weight to the implicitly acknowledged hearsay affidavit evidence of the respondent (TVO) as contained in the affidavits of Fred Gilbert and Nicholas Opiyo, sworn on 19th August, 2016 and 18th January 2017 respectively.

The duo argued that releasing information about TO would endanger his safety as Robert Shaka who is suspected of being TVO had been arrested and his rights reportedly abused by Ugandan authorities.

Muwema further avers in his notice dated February 27 that the Judge placed too little weight and or reliance on his affidavit evidence with regard to media activists and/or government opponents in Uganda.

Muwema goes ahead to argue that the Judge literally did not consider evidence in respect of the treatment of a person surmised to in fact be TVO, namely Robert Shaka and afforded too little weight to the criminal legislation in Uganda in particular the Computer Misuse Act and powers of arrest under the same.

He further states that the Judge relied on the fact that Muwema simply sought disclosure orders against TVO as opposed to himself seeking the arrest of TVO.


Muwema now wants an order setting aside the refusal of Justice Binchy of the reliefs sought by the appellant and a “finding in lieu thereof that the respondent (Facebook) provides the appellant (Muwema) with any details which it holds relating to the identities and or vocation of the person or persons who operate the Tom Voltaire Okwalinga Facebook Page” and costs.

He contends that, “in absence of any disclosure order against TVO remains wholly unable to pursue any action against TVO and remains liable and susceptible to ongoing posts and articles from TVO.”

Represented by Lavelle Solicitors located along St James House Adelaide Road, Dublin 2, Muwema secured March 3, 2017 as the return date for the directions hearing of his appeal.

The case is so significant as it can set a precedent that would see Facebook face hundreds of suits seeking disclosure of anonymous account holders.

Okwalinga maintains he/she is hugely connected and has access to classified information, an argument dismissed by security officials as baseless.

While some of TVO’s posts are truthful, many remain speculative and sensational.

Shaka who was arrested and detained on charges of using the TVO account to malign government officials denies the allegations leveled against him.

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