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Court Dismisses Agule, Tororo North Counties Election Petitions

Ochwa ran to the high court complaining of voter bribery and ballot stuffing. He asked the court to nullify the election and declare him the winner. The other petition was the one filed by NRM’s Annet Nyakecho against his FDC rival and Tororo North County MP, Geoffrey Ekanya.
Ekanya celebrates with his supporters outside the mbale High Court

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Justice Andrew Basihaija has dismissed with costs two election petitions before him citing defective affidavits. One of the petitions is that filed against Agule County Member of Parliament, Polycarp Ogwari by his National Resistance Movement-NRM, David Ochwa.

Ogwari trounced Ochwa after garnering 7,190 votes against 6,908 votes polled by his rival. Ochwa ran to the high court complaining of voter bribery and ballot stuffing. He asked the court to nullify the election and declare him the winner. The other petition was the one filed by NRM’s Annet Nyakecho against his FDC rival and Tororo North County MP, Geoffrey Ekanya.  

Nyakecho garnered 9,563 votes against Ekanya’s 9,674 votes. She ran to the High court citing voter bribery and stuffing pre-ticked ballots among other electoral malpractices. She asked the high court to nullify Ekanya’s victory and declare her the duly elected MP for Tororo County. 

The two applications ran into trouble after the respondent’s lawyers told the court that Commissioner Raymond Rwakikor who prepared affidavits didn’t have a valid practising certificate at the time of commissioning the affidavits.  

In separate rulings delivered on Tuesday, Justice Bashaija dismissed the applications, saying that the affidavits were commissioned by an advocate without a valid practising certificate, which makes them null and void. 

“Since the petition cannot be filed afresh it is accordingly dismissed with costs to the first and second respondents. it is so ordered” Justice Bashaija ordered while reading the ruling in the Nyaketcho Vs. Ekanya petition.  

Ekanya’s Lawyer Isaac Obiro Okirapa and Ogwari’s Lawyer, Daniel Okalebu said that the case was dismissed at the preliminary point of law saving the court’s time.    

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Ekanya, welcomed the court ruling, saying he wants lawyers who hoodwink clients to commission their petitions without valid certificates penalized through suspension.      

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Annet Nyakecho regretted the court’s decision, saying that she didn’t know that the advocate who commissioned her petition didn’t have a valid practising certificate.  

She said if it was not for that preliminary objection, she had enough evidence to overturn Ekyanya’s victory. 

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