Tororo North MP Nyakecho cleared by Court of Appeal

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KAMPALA- Ms Annet Nyakecho (NRM) has been reinstated as Tororo North MP by the Court of Appeal.

Last year the High Court in Mbale nullified Ms Nyakecho’s election on account that the Electoral Commission failed to count votes from some polling stations in the constituency.  Mr Geoffrey Ekanya of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change party had challenged her victory.

However a panel of three justices at Court of Appeal led by Justice Steven Kavuma held that the nullification of Ms Nyakecho’s election was unjustified.

Other justices are; Paul Kahaibale Mugamba and Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny-Dollo.

“There was no justifiable reason for Justice Patricia Basaza to cancel Ms Nyakecho’s victory since the non-concluded results in the two contentious polling stations; Missionary of Hope Church and Kagoya did not affect the final election result in a substantial manner as Mr Ekanya had alleged,” observed the judges in a verdict read out by the court’s deputy registrar Mr Deo Nizeyimana.

The judges noted that the results from the two contested polling stations could not be included in the final tally because the filling and signing of Results Declaration return forms could not be concluded in time by the presiding officers yet the ballot boxes containing the cast votes were also not sealed as they were being transported to the sub-county collection centre.

The election loser Mr Ekanya had petitioned the court on grounds that the EC cancelled the results of two polling stations, which he claimed were his strongholds. Ms Nyakecho polled 8,911 votes against Mr Ekanya’s 8,822 votes.

The High Court’s Justice Basaza had ruled in favour of Mr Ekanya saying that the election was characterised by irregularities and contravened electoral laws.

“Failure by the Electoral Commission to include the votes of two polling stations in which the petitioner had won affected the results for the seat,” she ruled.

The Court of Appeal yesterday quashed her verdict and reversed the High Court order to EC to conduct a by-election.

However the Court of Appeal ruled that each party would bear its own costs. They said the cancellation of the results from the two polling stations was unjustified but it did not benefit any candidate.

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