BY-ELECTION WILL BE A WALKOVER: Ariko assures journalists shortly after judgement was delivered
NEWS EDITOR MEDIA
YESTERDAY, three Justices of Court Appeal; Cheborion Barishaki, Stephen Musota and Christopher Gashirabake threw out of Parliament FDC’s Soroti City East legislator Moses Attan and ordered Electoral Commission to conduct by-elections for Soroti City East Constituency, congratulations Mr. Herbert Edmund Ariko, the petitioner.
The Court of Appeal upheld the High court judgment nullifying the election of Moses Attan as the Soroti City East Member of Parliament, sending supporters of Ariko into early celebrations, vowing to defeat Attan with a big percentage of votes when EC declares a by election.
At the Court of Appeal in Kampala, Ariko supporters were heard saying, “Attan thought would run away with our victory, but alas! We are now going into a free and fair election, let him not waste time. If he insists on standing, our candidate Edmund Ariko will embarrass him. This is a sure win. We have warned him in time.”
According to the judgment read out on Tuesday by the Court of Appeal Registrar Susan Kanyange on behalf of the Justices, Their Lordships agreed with the petitioner Mr. Ariko that, demarcation of boundaries within the constituency was not properly done.
For starters, the judgment arose from an appeal filed by Hon. Attan challenging the Soroti High Court decision that had ordered him out of Parliament and allowed a by-election in Soroti City East Constituency following a successful election petition by Herbert Edmund Ariko.
Last year, Soroti High Court Judge Her Lordship Hon. Anne Mugenyi nullified the victory of Attan on grounds that his election was conducted in non-existent wards of Aloet and Opiyai.
Mugenyi’s decision was based on a March 10th, 2021, High Court judgment that saw Justice Wilson Masalu Musene revert Opiyai and Aloet to Soroti City East Division.
The two wards had previously been annexed to Soroti City West Division by the same judge in November 2020.
But Justice Musene said that he had not been served with documents for the creation of Soroti City from Parliament and declaration of the cabinet on the same, hence his decision.
Mugenyi relied on the same decision noting that there was gross non-compliance with the electoral laws which affected the results in a substantial manner because there was disenfranchising of 5,233 voters from both Aloet and Opiyai.
He ordered the Electoral Commission to conduct fresh elections and ordered Attan to pay costs to Ariko.
Attan through his lawyers of Galisonga and Company Advocates and Alliance Advocates filed an appeal raising six major grounds which he says that the learned Soroti High Court Judge erred upon to reach her decision.
According to the appeal, Attan among other grounds argued that the learned trial Judge erred in law in entertaining Ariko’s petition because she didn’t have jurisdiction to hear it while relying on the decisions made by the same court to which High Court lacked jurisdiction.
Ariko has higher chances to take this constituency being a darling, a well connected man with political kingmakers in Soroti and a very smart and organised politician.
Let’s watch the space.
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