Soroti High Court on Friday nullified the election of Serere County MP Bishop Patrick Okabe (NRM), blaming the Electoral Commission for organising elections without complying with Uganda’s electoral laws.
The ruling followed a petition filed by Joseph Linos Opio against Okabe, Electoral Commission and National Council for Higher Education.
Justice Billy Kainamura ruled that the petitioner proved to the satisfaction of the court that though duly nominated, his name, photograph and symbol did not feature on the ballot paper.
This in the judge’s view was a gross violation of the electoral law by the electoral officials and led to the avoidance of the petitioner’s election.
Opio had accused Okabe of not having the requisite qualification for an MP, and that his rights and those of his supporters were disenfranchised, through a willful deliberate omission of his identity, symbol, photograph, name and party symbol, by the electoral commission.
The judge allowed Opio’s petition with costs, and ordered that the nomination and subsequent election of Okabe as Member of Parliament for Serere County is null and void. The judge therefore declared the seat vacant.
He directed the electoral commission to hold fresh elections.
The constituency was in the 9th Parliament represented by by FDC’s Stephen Ochola.