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Court Rejects 25 Affidavits in Ngora County Election Petition

The affidavits were rejected by Achayo’s lawyers on grounds that the witnesses presented varying signatures and that they lacked certificate of translation. The lawyers also argued that while the witnesses claimed to be illiterate, some were able to read and write and also comprehend English, which is the official language of court.
Medard Ssegona and his client, David Abala after court in Soroti.

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The High Court in Soroti has struck off 25 affidavits filed by David Abala, challenging the victory of Juliet Achayo Lodou as Ngora County MP. 

The affidavits were rejected by Achayo’s lawyers on grounds that the witnesses presented varying signatures and that they lacked a certificate of translation. The lawyers also urged that while the witnesses claimed to be illiterate, some were able to read and write and also comprehend English, which is the official language of the court. 

In her ruling, Justice Jane Okuo agreed with Achayo’s lawyers who had earlier on argued that the commissioner of oaths didn’t even know whether the authors of the affidavits were either female or male. 

“I’m convinced that the circumstances in this case like a failure by the commissioner of oath to type clearly whether the person who appeared before him as deponents were either male or female, strengthens the findings that the witnesses didn’t appear before him,” Justice Okuo ruled. 

Abala’s lawyer Medard Ssegona said that the affidavits will not affect their case, which he notes is rooted in the declaration of results. He said that they have 14 other affidavits to rely on for the petition to succeed. 

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But Alfred Okello Oryem, the lawyer representing Achayo says the petition has slim chances of succeeding since the remaining affidavit is from Abala.

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Achayo, the National Resistance Movement- NRM party candidate was declared winner of the January polls by the Electoral Commission in Kampala. However, the Ngora District Returning Officer, Peter Toddu had earlier announced Abala as the winner. 

According to the results released by the Electoral Commission in Kampala, Achayo polled 9,517 against Abala’s 9,226 votes. Toddu had initially declared Abala with 8,317 against Achayo who reportedly got 7,828 in the race that attracted four other candidates.

The decision to overturn the results of the Ngora returning was after tallying of results in all the 65 polling stations. The first declaration was based on 54 polling stations, according to the Electoral Commission.

The hearing of the petition starts Monday, next week.