2021 ELECTION PETITIONS: NRM’s Echodu Petition Takes Tally to 6 from Teso, Karamoja


By Cuthbert Otim




Soroti High Court has so far registered six petitions in which aggrieved parties want court to review Electoral Commission declarations of winners.


In Soroti City, the petitions are from the two City Divisions of East and west of the newly created Soroti city.


The latest petition has seen two voters; Anne Grace Amecho and Donald Okwasi challenge the election of Jonathan Ebwalu as MP Soroti City West over academic qualifications.


Ebwalu, an independent beat the NRM’s David Calvin Echodu with 7,248 against 5,286 votes for Echodu.


Ebwalu is also being dragged to court on grounds of voter bribery, vote rigging and intimidation of election officials.


According to the petitioners they want court to declare the NRM’s David Calvin Echodu as a winner for the January 14th polls. Echodu argues that making voters from the two disputed Wards of Aloet and Opiyai to vote in Soroti City West meant over 2000 voters erroneously participated in the elections.


Just before elections, the Soroti High Court ruled that Aloet and Opiyai Wards be reverted to Soroti City West, a ruling the same court overturned after MP Ariko petitioned for a judicial review.


The petition challenging Ebwalu’s victory is strongly grounded in the latter ruling that declared that Aloet and Opiyai should have remained in Soroti East.


Meanwhile, Ebwalu has called upon the voters in Soroti city west division and Teso as a whole to fundraise for the funds so that he can meet the costs for the legal team saying he (Ebwalu) is a poor man.


“Am a poor man but my wealth only lies in God’s hands and the voters who gave me the mandate in the just concluded polls,” Ebwalu told this reporter.


Herbert Edmund Ariko, the Soroti Municipality MP has also dragged FDC’s Moses Attan Okia and the Electoral Commission to court over election malpractices.


Ariko, who lost his bid to represent Soroti City East Division in parliament first dragged six residents who petitioned the court over Soroti City boundaries in September last year to court seeking review of the judgment that annexed Aloet and Opiyai wards to Soroti City West.



MP David Abala of Ngora County has also dragged NRM’s Juliet Achayo and the Electoral Commission to court for irregularly overturning his win in what he called ‘alteration of election results.’



The Electoral Commission through its Spokesperson, Paul Bukenya early February declared Achayo as newly elected Member of Parliament for Ngora County overturning the earlier decision by the Ngora District Returning Officer, Peter Toddu who announced Abala as winner.


In the earlier declarations of 15th January, Abala was declared winner with 8,317 votes against Achayo who got 7,828 votes. But the results from 11 polling stations were not computed.


According to Bukenya, after the final tally of all 65 polling stations in Ngora County, they found that Achayo was the winner with 9,517 votes beating Abala who got 9,226votes.


In Toroma County, Solomon Ossiya Alemu- the NRM candidate who lost the bid to unseat Joseph Andrew Koluo says that the elections were neither free nor fair. Koluo who lost the NRM flag to Ossiya garnered 9,179 while Ossiya got 8,013 votes.


Meanwhile 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 beat Lokeris with a difference of eleven votes.


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