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Lawyers Protest Affidavits Filed by Election Officials Against EC

Eight election officials, among them Presiding Officers, Polling Assistants, and Voter Verification Officers from Acerer, Naregae, Arengkeju and Lopur Polling Stations, among others, filed affidavits in support of the petition filed by Paul Oloo, an independent candidate who lost the recent parliamentary elections.
Former MP, Samson Lokeris (L), Matheniko MP, Dr. John Baptist Lokii (C) and Lawyer, Caleb Alaka after Court session in Soroti.
Lawyers representing Matheniko County MP, Dr John Baptist Lokii have raised an objection to the affidavits filed by Moroto election officials in support of a petition challenging a declaration by the Electoral Commission.

Eight election officials, among them Presiding Officers, Polling Assistants, and Voter Verification Officers from Acerer, Naregae, Arengkeju and Lopur Polling Stations, among others, filed affidavits in support of the petition filed by Paul Oloo, an independent candidate who lost the recent parliamentary elections.

In the petition, Paul Oloo,  who wanted to unseat Dr Lokii of NRM is contesting the outcome of the elections on grounds that they were characterised by voter bribery. Dr Lokii won the polls with 6,794 votes while Oloo got 6,606 votes while Lokii won with

But without divulging details about the contents of the affidavits, defence lawyers Caleb Alaka and Fred Kato said that it is illegal for election officers to swear in affidavits that pin the same institution they were working for. The defence team also objected to 14 other affidavits sworn by witnesses in support of the petition on grounds that they don’t have certificates of translation indicating that authors were illiterate.

However, Richard Latigo and Kenneth Engoru Opio, the lawyers representing the petitioner also raised an objection to the affidavits sworn by the Returning Officer of Moroto, Lilly Rose Loumo Lokut. Latigo said Loumo tendered varying signatures while authenticating office documents including transmitted results and the affidavits.

“Except for affidavits, all other documents signed by the officer bear the same signature with the same layout of her name and title. But the affidavits have varying signatures and some even bear different names representing her as Louma instead of Loumo,” Latigo said.

Both parties were raising objections that will determine issues to be considered for the hearing of the petition. If the objections raised are considered by the court, the future of the petition hangs in balance. Presiding judge Jane Okuo Kajuga set September 2, 2021, to rule on the objections raised.

On the other hand, Justice Anne Mugenyi Bitature set August 31, to decide on the preliminary objections raised by defence lawyers in the Dodoth East election petition. The Petition by former Dodoth East MP, Samson Lokeris seeks to overturn the election of Emmanuel Komol.

In Dodoth East Constituency, Samson Lokeris- NRM, also the incumbent is challenging the election of Emmanuel Komol, an Independent candidate over alleged voter bribery. Komol, an independent candidate, beat Lokeris, a five-time legislator, with a difference of only eleven votes after garnering 7,903 against 7,892 votes.

But in the preliminary hearing, the defence lawyers are questioning the authenticity of the affidavits filed by the witnesses in support of the petition. In their submissions, Geoffrey Komakech, the Commissioner of Oaths for the affidavits filed had no valid practising license by the time of administering the oaths.