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
“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.
Bureau Chief, Soroti
Living the Pen