Court of Appeal on Thursday overturned the decision of Mbale High court that had nullified the election of Achieng Sarah Opendi as the Woman MP for Tororo District on grounds that her election had been soiled with irregularities including bribery of voters and noncompliance with the electoral laws on the part of the Electoral Commission.
However three Justices including Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo, his predecessor Steven Kavuma, and Richard Buteera did not agree with the findings of High court Judge Magret Oguli Oumo, and they unanimously allowed Opendi’s appeal and declared her the duly elected Woman MP for Tororo District.
The Justices also ordered Opendi’s political rival, Ayo Jacinta, to pay Opendi all the money she has spent both in the Court of Appeal and the High court, to defend her victory.
The Justices ruled that they had re-evaluated the evidence in respect of each of the Issues Ayo Jacinto complained of and found that the nullification of Opendi was erroneous.
Ayo Jacinta had accused the Electoral Commission of delivering election materials of Osukuru Sub-county at the Tally Centre at 2:30 pm on 19/Feb/2016 the day after the election and further accused the District Returning Officer of not relying on the original DRForms to declare results in the said Sub-county.
But the Justices found Ayo Jacinta’s claim as a fabrication because there is evidence that these materials arrived at midnight on 18/February/2016 after counting of results, and that there was no evidence on record Justice Oguli based on to conclude that the District Returning Officer did not use original DRForms to declare results, since his evidence was corroborated with that of the NRM’s EC Chair Tanga Odoi.