Justices; Stephen Kavuma, Cheborion Barishaki and Paul Kahaibale Mugamba, ordered the Electoral Commission to hold fresh elections for Kibanda North constituency in Kiryandongo District.
In September last year, Masindi High Court dismissed Otada’s election petition, filed against Tampo and the Electoral Commission, due to insufficient evidence. Otada challenged the High Court ruling in the Court of Appeal.
In the September 13, 2016 ruling, Justice Elizabeth Nahamya had dismissed the petition and upheld Taban Tampo Amin’s election victory.
Justice Nahamya found no substantial noncompliance with electoral laws leading to illegal nomination and Election of Taban Amin as claimed by Otada.
The judge had also ruled that there had been insufficient evidence to prove that Taban Amin committed illegal acts and or electoral offences personally and or through his agents or through his agents with his knowledge and consent.
She argued that Taban Amin had been duly elected and that the election was to remain as valid as if no petition had been presented against his election.
Sam Amooti Otada, a former Kibanda County MP, challenged Tampo’s election victory in February 2016 citing voter bribery, questionable identity and voter intimidation. In the February 18,206 general elections, Taban Idi Amin polled 24,658 votes against Otada Sam Amooti Owor’st 16,118 votes.
Tampo is the son to Taban Amin and grandson of former President Idi Amin Dada.
The court of appeal discovered that Taban Idi Amin did not in any way formally adopt the name Idi Taban Amin Tampo which appeared in the voters register.
Court ruled that by adopting, changing and later maintaining the earlier names, Taban Idi Amin was playing the minds of voters.
The justices argued that Taban adopted the name Tampo for political expediency and gain and he was at fault.
Regarding the academic documents, the justices noted that if the first respondent is Idi Taban Amin Tampo, then his academic qualifications are unknown and that if he is Taban Idi Amin who owns the academic qualifications presented for nominations, he still did not qualify for election as a member of parliament as he was not a Registered Voter.
“We have studied the record of appeal and find that on the 29th day of March 2016, the appellant filed an affidavit in support of the petition that the respondent was nominated under the name Taban Idi Amin under the academic qualifications that did not belong to him,” the ruling reads.
It further indicates that the search at the Uganda National Examinations Board confirmed that Idi Amin Taban Tampo was not possessed of Advanced Level qualifications.
Court received evidence from Taibah College School on whether Taban Idi Amin studied there and attained an Advanced Level certificate. The school head teacher confirmed that her student was Taban Idi Amin and that she never had a student by the names of Idi Amin Taban Tampo.
“We have perused the record of appeal and find that the 1st respondent was nominated as Taban Idi Amin, the academic documents he relied on at the time of nomination bear the name Taban Idi Amin, national voters register bears the names Idi Taban Amin Tampo, he was declared and Gazetted as Taban Idi Amin and that the result tally sheet indicates the name Taban Idi Amin, the national identity card bears the name Idi Taban Amin Tampo and his passport bears the name Idi Taban Amin.”
The justices of appeal concluded that there was no dispute that the youthful MP did not comply with provisions and that he did not change his name legally. The decision ought to have been followed by the trial court as a binding precedent unless there was good reason not to do so.
The judges indicate that Taban Idi Amin did not give any satisfactory explanation as to the discrepancy in the name Idi Taban Amin Tampo as indicated in the National voters register and National ID, Taban Idi Amin on the nomination form and academic documents and Idi Taban Amin as indicated in his passport.
Adding that; “if he intended to adopt the name Idi Taban Amin Tampo, who was the registered voter, then he should have followed the requirements of section 36 of the Registration of persons act.”
The justices faulted the trial judge for failing to properly evaluate the evidence on record leading to the erroneous ruling that the respondents – MP Taban and the Electoral Commission–did not commit any electoral offence and or illegal practices during the campaign period.
On allegations of bribery and intimidation of voters, court ruled that the appellant, former MP Otada, failed to provide incontrovertible evidence.