By John Omoding
Soroti High Court has scheduled 3rd November 2022 for full hearing of Soroti City East Election Petition number filed by Moses Attan Okia challenging Hebert Edmund Ariko’s victory.
The presiding Judge, Musa Ssekaama after receiving and admitting the petition documents today tendered in by both the petitioner, respondent 1 and 2 asked both parties to come with all the witnesses on Thursday by 9:00 a.m. to enable court dispose the matter quickly.
Moses Attan Okia was ejected out of Parliament over contested Soroti City East boundaries by Court of Appeal on 24th May 2022.
The by-election was consequently held on 28th July 2022 that Hebert Edmond Ariko the National Resistance Movement (NRM) candidate won with 9,407 against Moses Attan Okia the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) flag bearer got 8,771. The Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) aspirant picked 115 votes.
In September 2021 Soroti High Court Judge Anne Mugenyi nullified Attan’s victory on grounds that his election was conducted in none existent Wards of Aloet and Opiyai.
The controversy over Soroti East boundaries was caused following the Soroti High Court Judge Justice Wilson Musene Musalu ruling on November 26th 2020 that Aloet and Opiyai wards be transferred from Soroti City East to Soroti City West following petition that was filed by the aggrieved voters who felt that Aloet and Opiyai wards should belong to Soroti City West.
Ariko after losing to Attan Ariko in 2021 Parliamentary general elections ran to court seeking court to review justice Musene’s ruling that saw Aloet and Opiyai wards taken to Soroti City West that he claimed denied over 5000 voters the right to vote for the person of their choice because the change came few days to the polling date.
Attan in an interview said that it’s not the first time for him to lose elections but this time round he decided to seek justice before the courts of law because his victory was robbed by NRM who used intimidation, arrests, coercing and bribing voters to deny him victory. coercing