Lira, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The High Court in Lira has dismissed with costs an election petition filed against Jonathan Odur, the Erute South Member of Parliament.
The petition was filed by Sam Engola, the former State Minister for Housing. In his petition, Engola accused Odur of using money to bribe voters on polling day with the knowledge of the Electoral Commission.
Odur the Uganda People’s Congress-UPC candidate was declared the winner with 17,763 votes, while Engola obtained 15,606 votes. The other candidates; Adupa Johnson Orec and Etii Caxton got 787 and 328 votes respectively.
Engola further faulted Odur for voter bribery by distributing hoes to the voters throughout the constituency without being restrained by the Electoral Commission.
Engola also wanted the Court to declare that the idea of a virtual campaign was inappropriate and order fresh elections in Erute South.
However, in his ruling on Friday, Justice Vincent Emmy Mugabo dismissed the petition on grounds that Engola did not prove that any illegality or offences were committed in the election by Odur or the Electoral Commission.
Speaking outside court, Odur who described the petition as baseless cautioned voters against fronting politician’s wishes but rather accept the current leadership and move on.
Engola says he will have a meeting with his lawyers before addressing journalists.
However, the judge did not award any cost to the electoral commission.
“I note that the participation of the 1st respondent (the electoral commission) was very minimal and in that circumstance, I apply my discretion judiciously not to grant the 1st respondent cost of this petition.”