The application is seeking review of November 26th, 2020 ruling where Justice Masalu reverted Aloet and Opiyai wards to Soroti City West Division. The wards, that were initially in Soroti City West during creation of Soroti City were moved to Soroti City East Division. The application is also seeking to nullify elections of Soroti City.
Justice Wilson Masalu Musene has
set Friday, March 5 when he will deliver his ruling on an application by the
Soroti Municipality MP, Herbert Edmund Ariko seeking review of the November
26th, 2020 judgement on Soroti City boundaries.
The application is seeking review of the judgement in which Justice Masalu
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. The application is also seeking to nullify the
elections of Soroti City.
Ariko, the applicant, lost to FDC’s Moses Attan Okia in the new Soroti City
East Division seat. He contends that the loss was caused by the alteration of
the city boundaries that annexed Aloet and Opiyai wards to Soroti City West
Division. Ariko claims that the two wards were his strongholds. He dragged the
petitioners of the November ruling to court.
They include Michael Enyagu Etadu,
Robert Onanyang, Stephen Erienyu, Patrick Ejelu and Brian Omoding who are
property owners and residents of Soroti City.
The hearing was adjourned last week when the lawyer representing the first five
defendants, Ivan Omolo asked for more time to allow them to file the
affidavits. The lawyer had also indicated that the defendants needed some
adjustments on the lawyer that will be representing them in court.
As the hearing of the case commenced on Tuesday morning, the defendants were
represented by Fiona Namirembe who first asked the court to have the matter
handled through judicial review.
But after her argument was overruled and the
lawyers for the applicant made their oral submissions, Namirembe declined to
make a rejoinder on grounds that she had not received instructions from her
clients. She instead asked the court to allow her to make written submissions
which Justice Musene didn’t grant.
// cue in “This court granted…
Cue out…open court”//
Patrick Wetaka, the lawyer representing the Electoral Commission told the court
that they will implement any orders given by the court.
Robert Kirunda and Yusuf Mutembuli, the lawyers representing Ariko argue that
the November 26th High Court decision lacked jurisdiction to entertain the
matter being an electoral related complaint. The lawyers also argue that the
decision was tainted with illegality and that it lacked requisite legal and
statutory authority to demarcate the electoral areas.
Ariko’s lawyers also argue that the High Court didn’t take into considerations
the gazette notice issued by the Minister of Local Government vide General
Notice 1413 of 2020 vide Uganda Gazette of November 13th, 2020, among other