By Stephen Enatu
It is not yet Uhuru for MP David Abala of Ngora County as his closest challenger, NRM’s Achayo Juliet Lodou has petitioned Court for a vote recount before Abala can be confirmed as MP elect.
Achayo through her lawyer, Hallid Salim on 20th Jan 2021 filed a case against Abala and Electoral commission seeking a recount of votes.
Yesterday, 25th January 2021, the Soroti Chief Magistrate Monica Amono referred the case to the High Court arguing that her court had no jurisdiction to handle the application.
Achayo in her application avers that Abala was declared winner without complete tallying of all votes from all polling stations. She believes that inclusion of all the votes in the final tally will be in her favour.
Meanwhile, in what appears to be a preemptive effort, Abala had also on 21st January, 2021 filed a miscellaneous application number 009 through his lawyer Engulu Company advocates.
In his application, Abala through his lawyer, Phillip Engulu sued both the Electoral Commission and Achayo Lodou claiming that the District Returning Officer under-declared him winner with 8317 votes against Achayo Juliet Lodou NRM flag who polled 7828.
Abala claimed that his true votes should have been 12,170 votes as indicated in the original Declaration Form. The application also wanted court to investigate the 6 polling stations whose results were not included in the final tally.
However, the same Chief Magistrate’s Court sitting at Soroti yesterday 25th January 2021 threw out Abala’s application. This application was thrown out in the morning of yesterday before Achayo’s application for a vote recount was referred to the High Court.
While dismissing Abala’s application, Chief Magistrate Monica Amono said the case was related to one filed by Achayo through her lawyer, Halid Salim with similar facts.
“It’s time wasting, you cannot keep filing another case with similar facts when there is already one of the same nature, I therefore dismiss the case with costs,” she ruled.
Abala had argued that that the results from six polling stations were brought after him (David Abala) the alleged winner had been pronounced victor in the just concluded presidential and parliamentary elections.
They argued that the alleged winner Abala got 12,170 votes in the original declaration form whereas the District Returning officer, Peter Etodu under declared him a winner with only 8317 votes against Achayo Juliet Lodou NRM flag who polled 7828.
Meanwhile, Counsel Patrick Wateka who represented the Electoral Commission told court that the applicant had no locus to challenge the results by himself and yet he is the alleged winner.