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Gaddafi Nassur Loses Election Petition Against Katikamu North MP

In a Judgement delivered to parties via email on Thursday, Lady Justice Margaret Apiny dismissed Gaddafi’s petition on grounds that he failed to adduce satisfactory evidence to support his allegations against the winner Dennis Ssekabira and Electoral Commission.
14 Oct 2021 17:02
The Petitioner Gaddafi Nassur
The High Court in Kampala has dismissed with costs an election petition filed by former Katikamu North Parliamentary contestant Gaddafi Nassur. 

In a Judgement delivered to parties via email on Thursday, Lady Justice Margaret Apiny dismissed Gaddafi’s petition on grounds that he failed to adduce satisfactory evidence to support his allegations against the winner Dennis Ssekabira and Electoral Commission. 

The Electoral Commission declared and gazetted Ssekabira of the National Unity Platform as the winner with 18,716votes against Gaddafi’s 10,771votes.

However, Gaddafi petitioned the High Court demanding the nullification of results on grounds of election offences that included voter bribery.

He also noted that the entire electoral process in Katikamu County North Constituency, right from the start of the campaign period up to the nominations, polling day and the tallying process was characterized by acts of electoral malpractices and offences. 

Gaddafi brought five affidavits from his supporters who reportedly witnessed bribery and those how allegedly obtained money.

The NRM Youth League Chairperson Gaddafi also adduced MTN printouts of call logs and mobile money transactions Ssekabira made during the election time.

However, Ssekabira through his lawyers led by Nalukoola Luyimbazi denied the allegations and asked the court to dismiss the petition with costs on grounds that it was full of falsehoods. 

In her Judgement, Justice Apiny has expunged from the court record the documents of call logs and printouts saying that Gaddafi obtained them, seven days before he got the court order authorizing him to do so.

The order had been issued by Kakiri Magistrates Court in the name of Detective Constable Samuel Komakech who was given authority to access the call logs details of Ssekabira.

However, the Judge says that this implies the documents are questionable and as such, they cannot be relied upon by her court. 

“The statements complained of in the affidavit are in respect of the assertions that the petitioner obtained the said court orders whereas not. However, it is evident on the record that the documents attached do not indicate that the petitioner applied for and obtained them, instead, the said orders appear in the names of a police officer described as No. 59865 DC Komakech Samuel”, reads the judgement in part.

According to Apiny, the documents in question were only supposed to be tendered in court by the police officer to whom they were issued.

“This court considers it a deliberate lie for the petitioner to state that he applied for that information whereas not. In my view, whatever is presented by counsel for the petitioner describing how the petitioner lodged a complaint with the police which was later investigated and the court orders issued to the investigating officer is what ought to have been stated in the petitioner’s affidavit in which he would disclose his source of information as the investigating officer” said Apiny. 

She further noted that it was Gaddafi’s responsibility to ensure that the investigating officer swears an affidavit to introduce the documents but he did not. 

On allegations of bribery, Justice Apiny ruled that there was no evidence on the voters register to show that the people whom Ssekabira during the exercise were registered voters in Katikamu North.

“This court is mindful of the fact that in election matters, it is necessary to exercise caution while evaluating each allegation of bribery and to subject it to a high level of scrutiny as well as being alive to the fact that in election petitions, in which the prize is political power, witnesses may easily resort to telling lies in their evidence, to secure judicial victory for their preferred candidate.”  

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