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Court blocks censure of Lira City West division speaker

Lira, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The High Court sitting in Lira has issued an interim injunction restraining Lira City West division councilors from censuring their speaker, Daniel Okello. Last month, the councilors petitioned the Ministry of Local Government indicating their plans to censure Okello for alleged misconduct, disrespect, and intimidation.

Okello dragged the Lira City West division council, Jimmy Angole, the division town clerk, and Mayor Michael Ogwal Aconga, to court seeking judicial review and orders blocking his impeachment, arguing that the move was in bad faith, constituted by ulterior and other political motives, all intended to victimize him.

The application came up for hearing on Tuesday evening before Justice Duncan Gaswaga, in the presence of counsel Hope Lydia Abeja, Moses Okot Bitek Junior, and Raymond Ongom for the applicant, while Innocent Okuny represented the respondents.

Justice Gaswaga then issued an interim order restraining the respondents, their agents, servants, and assignees from implementing the resolution that was reached to have Okello censured pending the determination of his application for judicial review.

Earlier, Innocent Okuny, the defense counsel asked the court to adjourn the case on grounds that they were served on short notice and were unable to respond to the matter. Moses Okot B’itek, also the Kioga County Member of Parliament has urged the respondents to abide by the court decision.

Lira city returning officer, Rashid Hasakye has given Jimmy Angole, the City West Division Town Clerk two days to write to him explaining their next course of action in line with their plans to censure the speaker. This followed the dismissal of the meeting that he convened on Tuesday to discuss the censure of the speaker. Both the speaker and Samuel Akaa, the lead petitioner didnt show up for the meeting in which they were expected to respond to issues justifying their actions.

“I’m not adjourning the meeting, okay? But I’m dismissing this on condition that if the lead petitioner is to organize himself I will take note of the date then I plan within that same time given (30 days) to see which date is convenient and that day must be convenient to you as well,” he said.

Hasakye asked the town clerk who was represented by Sam Okello to write to him before Friday confirming that both Okello and Akaa have been invited to another meeting.



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