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Court okays withdraw of election appeal against Obiga Kania

Minister Obiga Kania. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Court of Appeal has allowed Apama Mayo Boroa to withdraw his appeal challenging the dismissal of a petition he filed against Terego East Member of Parliament and State Minister for Lands, Obiga Kania.

The Court of Appeal registrar Lillian Bucyana endorsed the move at the pretrial hearing stage following a February 17th 2021, consented judgment tabled before the court by the lawyers of the two parties and the Electoral Commission.

“By consent of parties entered on 17th February 2022 before her worship Bucyana Lillian, in the presence of Madira Jimmy, Counsel for the Appellant, Batanda Gerald and Abiyo John Counsel for the 1st respondent Eric Sabiiti, Baguma J Honest and Kanyiginya Angella Counsel for the 2nd respondent; the Appellant hereby withdraws election petition number 12 of 2021”, reads the consent in part. According to the consent, each party will also bear its own costs.

Apama stood on the Alliance for National Transformation-ANT ticket in the January 14th 2021 elections. He obtained 5,925 votes against Kania’s 10,544 votes. He rejected the poll results and sued the Minister alongside the Electoral Commission citing discrepancies in the name on his academic documents.

According to Apama, Kania who ran on the National Resistance Movement party ticket submitted academic documents for nomination in different names, which he claims belong to different people. He noted that one of the documents was in the name of Morris. A. K. Obiga, another Morris Azuma Kania Obiga, the third in the names of Obiga Mario while the other documents had the name Obiga Mario Kania and the last indicated Obiga Kania.

However, on September 1st, 2021, Justice Boniface Wamala dismissed Apama’s petition with costs in Lira high court on grounds that the affidavits supporting the application were commissioned by counsel Daizy Bandaru, whose practising certificate had expired. The judge also noted that counsel Jimmy Madira who represented the applicant didn’t have a valid practising certificate.

He noted that practising law without valid certificates is unlawful and criminal adding that the petition couldn’t be rectified since the court lacked jurisdiction to do so. Justice Wamala agreed with the Electoral Commission and Kania’s lawyers and struck off the petition. He advised Apama to take legal action against his lawyer for failure to secure a valid practising certificate.

The Judge also ordered Apama to pay the Minister and the Electoral Commission costs of the suit. Dissatisfied with the decision, Apama through his lawyers of Madira and Company Advocates ran to the Court of Appeal in Kampala on two grounds.

He argued that the trial judge erred in law and fact and judiciously when he went against the spirit of the provisions of the law, which seeks to protect clients from acts of Advocates and dismissed his petition with costs to the respondents without a good cause.

Apama also argued that the trial Judge erred in law to dismiss his petition without giving him an option to rectify it, saying that the judge should have allowed him to take leave of court to rectify the anomaly and bring back the matter for consideration.

Speaking to Uganda Radio Network shortly after the withdrawal of the matter, the Electoral Commission lawyer Eric Sabiiti said Apama’s decision to drop the appeal and the subsequent endorsement by the court means that Obiga Kania is now confirmed as the Terego East MP.

The withdrawal of the appeal against Kania now leaves 80 election appeals pending before the appellant court and 29 applications that are yet to be allocated to panels comprising three Justices for hearing.

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