Hearing of Election Petitions opened in Masaka High Court with an application seeeking for the dismissal of Minister Nsambu's election petition against Namayanja's election. Justice Elizabeth Musoke is to rule of May 16 on whether to dismiss it or uphold it.
ICT State Minister, John Alintuma Nsambu’s Election petition against his political rival Florence Namayanja could be dismissed for alleged forgery.
Recently, Francis FX Mugula, the former Minister Nsambu’s campaign agent petitioned Masaka High Court seeking for the cancellation of Florence Namayanja’s election as the new Member of Parliament for Bukoto East seat on grounds that the election was marred with several irregularities.
According to the petition filed in Masaka High Court, Mugula alleges that his boss Minister Nsambu was robbed of his victory, because Namayanja bribed Tugume Mugisha, the Masaka returning officer to declare her as winner, despite Nsambu's win with majority votes.
Mugula, who attached a copy of at least 400 petitioners, also alleges that Namayanja’s election was flawed because she assaulted many of his voters, intimidated several others and run a smear campaign against him in defiance of the parliamentary election act.
Today, Justice Elizabeth Musoke of Masaka High Court, opened the trail of election petition pitying DP’s Florence Namayanja and her NRM bitter rival John Alintuma Nsambu.
Lady Justice Musoke started by allowing Namayanja’s legal team led by Medard Lubega to file a defense against allegations of voter intimidation bribery, and assault as evidence in Mugula’s copy of affidavit .
But Medard Lubega, asked court to dismiss the petition with costs on grounds that the lead petitioner filed it erroneously and the names of the petitioners attached to the affidavits were forged and that they are far less than 500 petitioners, the minimum number required to file any election petition.
Lubega cited about 50 names of the alleged voters who supported the affidavit but did not append their signatures to the petition.
Lubega also noted that about 60 names of those people supporting the affidavit did not attach copies of their voters’ cards to attest to their claims that they are registered voters. According to Lubega, several other voters attached as petitioners did not indicate their areas of residences in defiance of article 60 of the evidence act.
Worse still, Lubega asked court to dismiss the petition on ground that the lead petitioner, Francis Mugula is not a registered voter in Bukoto East yet the parliamentary election act mandates only a losing candidate and a registered voter to challenge the results of the disputed seat. Lubega explained that Mugula filed the petition as a mere campaign agent, yet his role in the election stopped on February 19th a day after the election was conducted.
According to Lubega, after, the election and declaration of a winner in any election, campaign agents cease to be of any substance in matters of the elections.
Lubege asked Justice Jane Musoke not to waste her time finding legal decisions but dismiss the petition with costs.
In response, Patrick Yehangane, Minister Nsambu’s lawyer rejected Lubega’s application.Yehangane asked Justice Jane Musoke to give him one week to consult his client Minister Nsambu before responding to Lubega’s application. He told court that it was unfair for him to file a defense against Lubega’s application without consulting his client.
Justice Elizabeth Musoke adjourned the hearing to May 16 after Yehangane consults his client.
Lady Justice Musoke explained that she was convinced with both submissions but it was unjust for her to straight away make a ruling before listening to Yehangane’s defense. She ordered both sides to re-appear in court on May 16th to listen to Yehangane’s defense and there after she will decide on whether she dismisses it or upholds the election petition against Namayanja;s election.
Minister Nsambu was not in court today, but several of his supporters attended the session.
But Florence Namayanja was present in court. She smiled as soon as her lawyer, Medard Lubega asked court to dismiss the election petition challenging her elections. Namayanja was seen hugging her lawyers and supporters outside court although no final judgment has been made about the case.
In a related development, high court judge, Justice Owinyi Dolo is also to rule on May 23 on whether to uphold or dismiss an election petition challenging the election of DP’s Deo Kiyingi, as the Bukomansimbi member of parliamentary elect. Idd Kisiki Lubyayi, the incumbent Bukomansimbi Member of Parliament petitioned high court challenging Kiyingi’s election on grounds that several of his votes were illegally invalidated to grant Kiyingi victory.
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forgery of petitioners