Ossiya attempted to unseat Koluo through the just-concluded parliamentary election. However, he lost the race with 8,013 votes against 9,179 votes by the victor and challenged the outcome on grounds that the election was not conducted in accordance with the principles and provisions of the electoral laws and allegedly affected the results in a substantial manner.
The High Court in Soroti has dismissed an election petition filed
by Solomon Ossiya Alemu against the Toroma County MP, Joseph Andrew Koluo.
Ossiya attempted to unseat Koluo through the just-concluded parliamentary election. However, he lost the race with 8,013 votes against
9,179 votes by the victor and challenged the outcome on grounds that
the election was not conducted in accordance with the principles and provisions
of the electoral laws and allegedly affected the results in a substantial
Ossiya said that there were
illegal practices and offences committed by Koluo,
personally or with his knowledge, in connection to the election citing bribery, due influence
and sectarianism, among others. On the basis of this, the petitioner sought an order for annulment and setting
aside from the election and that he should be declared winner of the January
But in the commencement of the court hearing, lawyers from both
sides raised preliminary objections regarding affidavits and the validity of
the petition. They agreed to address three issues in the petition that include whether
56 out of 60 affidavits of the petitioner offend the provisions of the Illiterate
Protection Act, whether 20 affidavits in support of the petition ought
to be expunged on account of variations on witness signatures and attached photocopies
of their National Identity Cards and whether the petition was validly filed.
Presiding Judge Justice Jane Okuo Kajuga found that the Commissioner of Oaths for the affidavits, Raymond
Owakukiroru had no valid practising license by the time commissioning the
affidavits. She said that affidavits were filed in contravention of the law.
Justice Okuo said that Owakukiroru commissioned the
affidavits on March 10, 2021, ten days past the expiry of the grace
period given to the advocates to renew their licenses. She said that the
Commissioner of Oaths violated the
Commissioner of Oaths Advocates Act.
“I, therefore, find in summary that the petition was
incompetent, it was filed in contravention of the law specifically section 60
of the Parliamentary Election Act and Rules 3C,4,8 of the Parliamentary
Elections Interim Provisions Rules and hereby proceed to strike it out”,
Justice Okuo said in her ruling. The judge awarded the costs to the respondent.
//Cue in; “In the circumstances…
Ossiya, who was in court declined to speak to our reporter
on his next course of action but Koluo said he was elated by the ruling. Toroma County is the fourth out of nine election petitions
to be disposed of in Soroti.