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Soroti City Boundaries Case Pushed to March

Ariko, who lost to FDC’s Moses Attan Okia in the Soroti City East Division seat is aggrieved by the ruling of Soroti High Court Judge, Justice Wilson Musene Musalu that reverted Aloet and Opiyai wards to Soroti City West Division.
Justice Wilson Musene Musalu

Audio 3

The application by the Soroti Municipality MP, Herbert Edmund Ariko seeking review of the November 26th, 2020 judgement on Soroti City boundaries has been adjourned to March 2nd, 2021. 

Ariko, who lost to FDC’s Moses Attan Okia in the Soroti City East Division seat is aggrieved by the ruling of Soroti High Court Judge, Justice Wilson Musene Musalu that reverted Aloet and Opiyai wards to Soroti City West Division. The wards, which were initially in Soroti City West during the creation of Soroti City, were moved to Soroti City East Division. 

Ariko in his application claims that the two wards were his strongholds but the decision by the court to annex them to the West Division even after nominations led to his defeat.  

On November 26th, 2020, Justice Musene ruled that Aloet, Arapai, Orwadai and Opiyai wards should be under Soroti City West. Justice Musene, in his ruling, said that the wards were erroneously included in Soroti City East Division by the Local Government Minister, Raphael Magezi. 

The ruling by Justice Musene was delivered after it emerged that some politicians allegedly altered the boundaries to serve their political interests. The judge also awarded costs to the plaintiffs who include Michael Enyagu Etadu, Robert Onanyang, Stephen Erienyu, Patrick Ejelu and Brian Omoding.

But Ariko, through his lawyers, Alaka and Co. Advocates have now sued the plaintiffs in the first civil suit and Electoral Commission under MISC. Application No. 03 of 2021. The hearing of the case that was scheduled for Wednesday morning failed to proceed when the lawyer of the respondent sought an adjournment to enable his client’s file affidavits. 

Justice Musene granted the respondents two days to file their affidavits.

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Ivan Omolo from Okello Oryem Company Advocates representing the first five respondents says he received information of the case on short notice to enable the filing of affidavits on time.

He also argues that the application has been taken over by events. 

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Caleb Alaka says their application is seeking remedies that might have long term effects on the city. Ariko is also represented by Robert Kirunda of Kirunda and Company Advocates and Yusuf Mutembuli of Mutembuli and Company Advocates. 

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The fully parked court was attended by politicians especially the newly elected leaders in Soroti City.