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Lawyers Cite Bribery, Multiple Voting in Matheniko County Petition

Oloo ran to court on grounds that there was impersonation of polling agents and falsification of results, non-compliance of electoral laws that allegedly affected the outcome of the results.
Paul Oloo at Soroti Court premises with his supporters.
The High Court in Soroti has started hearing an election petition against Matheniko County MP, Dr John Baptist Lokii who is accused of bribing voters.

The petition was filed by Paul Oloo, an independent candidate who garnered 6,602 votes against Lokii’s 6,794 votes. Oloo ran to court on grounds that there was impersonation of polling agents and falsification of results, non-compliance of electoral laws that allegedly affected the outcome of the results. 

Oloo’s lawyer Richard Latigo said that the election was marred with several malpractices like ballot stuffing, multiple voting, intimidation, violence and bribery among others. Citing the affidavit of Andelo Pulokol, the Latigo said that Dr Lokii’s wife, Rose Adero was allegedly seen buying local brew (Kwete) for voters in the company of village chairpersons at Lopei. 

The lawyer also quoted another affidavit of John Bosco Alinga who indicated that Dr Lokii was seen giving money to voters at Lopur Polling Station. 

On intimidation and disenfranchisement, the petitioner’s lawyer presented the affidavit sworn by Rogers Anyakun and Joseph Maruk who said that the Parish Internal Security Officer ordered the Presiding Officer of Naregae to allow only voters from Asen village to stay in the queue while others were ejected after 4:00 pm. 

Maruk on the other hand said in his affidavits that he was assaulted by Adero and her husband, Dr Lokii on the polling day. The affidavits indicated that the duo was driving car UAQ 060Q when they confronted Maruk. 

Latigo also presented an argument indicating that at Lopur Polling Station, the ballots were more than the registered number of voters. He said that the register had 464 voters but 465 votes were counted.

But Caleb Alaka, the lawyer representing Dr Lokii said that the allegations by the petitioner had no proof. 

“The facts are hidden in this matter; the numbering of the affidavits and other documents is obnoxious. The petitioner is supposed to be straightforward. It’s our fundamental right as defendants under Article 28 to understand the case to prepare our Defense, ”Alaka said in court. 

He added that that the petitioner first listed five polling stations but later narrowed all the arguments to Lopur and Naregae Polling Stations. Alaka also asked the petitioner to produce names of agents and voters bribed or assaulted as alleged in the affidavits.

“My Lord, these are sweeping statements with faceless agents. There is no evidence of ballot stuffing. The burden of proof lies on the petitioner to adduce corroborating evidence to the claims”, Alaka added. 

Fred Kato, another lawyer representing Dr Lokii asked the petitioner to produce a certificate of marriage between Dr Lokii and his wife, Adero and proof of ownership for the alleged car used during the alleged assault of Maruk.

Justice Jane Okuo Kajuga, the presiding judge set September 13 to deliver the ruling on the matter.