Soroti Election Petition Hearings to begin on Wednesday
The Soroti High Court will on Wednesday start hearing Election Petitions after the program was rescheduled in order to allow Judges to peruse through the files.
The Court has nine petitions filed from voting areas in Teso and Karamoja sub-regions. The cases will be heard by Justices Jane Okou Kajuga and Justice Anne Mugenyi Bitature.
The Judiciary Public Relations Officer, Jamson Karemani says the Judges allocated to hear petitions in Soroti just reported and are going through the files. “The Judges have reported and are going through the files. The real business will begin on Wednesday”, he said in a text.
The postponement of the hearing left several supporters of different candidates stranded at Soroti High Court premises on Monday morning when they bounced. At court, only the senior resident Judge, Henry Peter Adonyo was seen at the registrar’s office in the morning.
They include those from; Dodoth East Constituency in Kaabong District, Toroma County in Katakwi district, Soroti East and Soroti West Divisions in Soroti City, Ngora County in Ngora district and Matheniko County in Moroto district. Others are Labwor County in Abim district and the local government elections in Bukedea.
According to the case file from Dodoth East Constituency, Samson Lokeris, the former area MP is challenging the election of Emmanuel Komol, an Independent candidate over alleged voter bribery.
Results from the January 14th election indicate that Komol beat Lokeris with only eleven votes.
Meanwhile in Toroma County, Solomon Ossiya Alemu who failed to unseat Joseph Andrew Koluo contends that the elections were neither free nor fair. Koluo who lost the NRM flag to Ossiya garnered 9,179 leaving the flag bearer with 8,013 votes.
In Soroti City West Division, two voters, Anne Grace Ameco and Donald Okwasi are challenging the election of Jonathan Ebwalu over academic qualifications. Ebwalu, an independent candidate beat NRM’s David Calvin Echodu with 7,248 against 5,286 votes for Echodu.
Meanwhile, Herbert Edmund Ariko, the former Soroti Municipality MP has dragged FDC’s Moses Attan Okia and the Electoral Commission to court over election malpractices. Ariko, who lost his bid to represent Soroti City East Division in parliament first dragged six residents who petitioned court over Soroti City boundaries in September last year to court seeking review of the judgement that annexed Aloet and Opiyai wards to Soroti City West.
After the review of the judgement by Justice Wilson Masalu Musene, the same court reversed the contested wards to Soroti City East Division. Ariko now wants the election results nullified on grounds that the elections were conducted in non-existent areas.
In Ngora County, David Abala, an Independent candidate during the January elections dragged Juliet Achayo Lodou of NRM to court together with Electoral Commission. Abala was first declared the winner by the Ngora District Returning Officer, Peter Toddu but the commission later declared Achayo on grounds that Abala had been declared before adding up votes from eleven polling stations.
The Ngora County issue first appeared before Chief Magistrate’s Court in Soroti seeking vote recount but the case was dismissed with costs. According to the petitioner, there were so many irregularities during the elections.
In Matheniko County, Paul Oloo, an independent who lost his bid to unseat John Baptist Lokii of NRM is contending the outcome of the elections on grounds that they were highly monetized. Oloo got 6,606 votes and Lokii won with 6,794 votes.
In Labwor County, Ariko Johny De West has dragged the victor of January election, Yuventine Omara to court over election irregularities Wilson Oceger Okiror and Anguria James Michael Mandoko have dragged Electoral Commission in their respective districts to court over several irregularities in the local council elections.