Former Tororo North MP Nyakecho Appeals Against Election Ruling

Written by on September 23, 2021

The former Member of Parliament representing Tororo North County Annet Nyakecho has appealed against the court ruling dismissing her petition challenging the victory of Geoffrey Ekanya.

Nyakecho garnered 9,563 votes against Ekanya’s 9,674 votes. She ran to the High court citing voter bribery and stuffing pre-ticked ballots among other electoral malpractices. She asked the high court to nullify Ekanya’s victory and declare her the duly elected MP for Tororo County.

Last week, the Mbale High Court Judge Andrew Bashaija dismissed with costs the petition on grounds that the petition was accompanied by defective affidavits since they were commissioned by an Advocate who didn’t have a valid practicing certificate at the time of commissioning them.

Justice Bashaija ruled that the affidavits were null and void before ordering Nyakecho to pay costs to Ekanya and the Electoral Commission.

Nyakecho through her lawyers of Okello Oryem and Company Advocates has now filed an appeal before the Court of Appeal in Kampala saying that the trial judge erred in law and fact when he allowed the Electoral Commission to introduce a new matter.

The new matter was the allegation that the affidavit in support of the petition was commissioned by an unlicensed Advocate, when the parties had both filed their final rejoinders and when the court had issued orders that no further affidavit evidence would be allowed.

Nyakecho also accuses the Judge of having relied on submissions from the bar and unsigned letter from the Electoral Commission’s lawyer and a photocopy of a letter purportedly written by the Chief Registrar of the Courts of Judicature whose authenticity and content was contested; and not affidavit evidence to find out that the affidavit in support of the petition was commissioned by an Advocate who did not have a valid Practicing Certificate at the time.

Nyakecho also faults, Justice Bashaija for having reportedly failed to apply provisions of the law while dismissing her case for being incompetent and had he applied the provisions, Nyakecho says she would have ordered that her affidavits be commissioned by another Commissioner for Oaths as provided for under the Advocates Act and the Constitution.

Nyakecho wants the Court of Appeal to allow her case and set aside Bashaija’s judgement and alternatively; she wants the court to order that the affidavits be re-commissioned by another Commissioner of Oaths to correct the record of the lower Court such that the case is heard and determined on its merits.

This is not the first time the two rivals are engaged in legal battles.   After the 2016 general elections, Ekanya who was then the incumbent MP for Tororo North County petitioned the court after he lost to Nyakecho.

The Mbale High Court Judge, Lady Justice Patricia Waiswa Basaza nullified Nyakecho’s victory and ordered for a fresh election agreeing with Ekanya that her victory was marred with irregularities.

But Nyakecho challenged Basaza’s orders in the Court of Appeal and a panel of three Justices led by the Former Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma, Paul Mugamba and Alfonse Owiny-Dollo reinstated Nyakecho back to Parliament.

David Ochwa who lost the Agule County MP race in Pallisa district and his petition filed against the winner Polycarp Ogwari was also dismissed has also filed an appeal.

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