Court dismisses petition against Nebbi municipality MP Hashim Sulaiman
todaySeptember 1, 2021
By Pamela Atim
Arua High court has dismissed with costs, a case challenging the election of Nebbi Municipality Member of Parliament over academic qualifications. Robert Onega of the Forum for Democratic Change FDC filed a petition challenging National Resistance Movement NRM’s Hashim Sulaiman’s academic qualifications, claiming that he lacked the minimum requirement to contest for the parliamentary race. Gerald Padoko, the petitioner’s lawyer argued that Hashim was not duly nominated following a 2019 ruling by High Court judge justice Anthony Ojok Oyuk which established that he did not have the pre-requisite academic qualifications, thereby annulled his election. This prompted Hashim to appeal to the court of appeal and on 8th June this year, the appellant court over turned the decision of the high court citing that Hashim was duly qualified for nomination as Member of Parliament and had completed the minimum formal education. However, in his ruling on Friday, Arua high court judge Justice Boniface Wamala dismissed the petition saying the Court of appeal, which is by law the highest and competent court to deal with electoral petitions already dealt with the same issue. Reacting to the ruling, Robert Onega, the lead petitioner was saddened by what he called a delay by the court of appeal. “We oversaw the delay by court of appeal sometime back. What we always knew was that there is a deliberate effort to frustrate our struggle, and now that delay has affected us today”, he said. Meanwhile, Hashim said, “I don’t know what people want from me. This ruling is to show to the people who are following me about my academic papers that the dust has already settled and we should focus on business now. I want to present this ruling to the people of Nebbi municipality. This is not my own it’s for the people who elected me. Allow me complete and start what I had planned for the people of this area”, he said.