Former Arua city mayor withdraws election petition
todayAugust 27, 2021
By Pamela Atim
Former Arua City mayoral candidate in this year’s elections Afeku Isa Kato has withdrawn his election petition challenging the victory of Wadri Sam Nyakua. He cited irregularities and accused the Electoral commission of ballot staffing and alledged that results from at least 28 polling stations were not tallied. Kato, through his lawyer Paul Manzi sought leave of court to withdraw his petition under section 144 of the local government Act with an order that each party bears its own cost. Henry Odama, the cunsel for the first respondent (Wadri Sam Nyakua) agreed to the proposal saying it’s a way of promoting reconciliation, the counsel for electoral commission said they had incurred costs in the pursuit of the matter and therefore prayed for costs from the court. The presiding judge, Justice Boniface Wamala ruled that award of costs is still subject to the courts discretion and it wouldn’t be in the spirit of alternative dispute resolution to award electoral commission costs of the withdrawal that is expected to promote reconciliation and healing of the parties concerned and hence declined to award costs to the commission in the interest of justice and so each party was to bear their own costs. The judge ruled that there was no sufficient evidence that could warrant the nullification of the poll results from the documents that were presented. Counsel Kato Ali Hassan who represented electoral commission says they were surprised with the withdrawal though such reduces on their work burden.
COVER PHOTO: Cross examination of the case at Arua High Court. Photo by Pamela Atim.