Lira high court judge Lady Justice Dr Winifred Nabisinde has stepped aside from hearing an appeal in which the Moroto county MP elect Samuel Okwir Odwee had filed to overturn the decision of the Chief Magistrate’s court that had ordered for a recount of votes in three sub counties.
The hearing of civil appeal number 2 of 2016 was set for Thursday but the resident Judge Dr Winifred Nabisinde surprising before listening to the applicant and the defendant statements read out her short judgment saying she has withdrawn from hearing the case citing three grounds.
According to the learned Judge, one of the most contentious reasons why she decided to quit hearing the appeal is that the applicant of the main suit minister Rebecca Amuge Otengo through her relatives and emissaries constantly induced her to rule the case infavour of them through attempts to give her bribes.
Nabisinde also asserted before the honorable court without mincing her words those relatives and close allies of Rebecca Otengo have been calling her cell phones and that of her property owner threatening her life should she rule the case against their client.
As if that was not enough Minister Otengo through her allies allegedly accused her to the principal Judge, Justice Yorokamu Bamwine that she is either delaying the case or does not want to hear the case by preferring to go to Apac to hear other less important cases.
Dr Nabisinde in her final remarks said she is a learned judicial officer who can neither be influenced nor shown how to make judgments.
The case file shall now be sent to the High Court registry in Kampala for the principal judge to appoint a new judge to take over the case.
When contacted for a comment, one of the lawyers for Samuel Okwir Odwee Isaac Okae of Okae, Basalalirwa, Kakare and company advocates said the decision of the judge is not a setback for them and that he is still the legitimate elected Moroto county MP.
On February 25, 2016, Lira Chief Magistrate court Alex Karocho Mushabe ordered for a recount of votes from Abia, Akura and Aloi but later halted the execution after an interim order and appeal against the ruling filed by Okwir Odwee’s counsel.
On the 23rd of February 2016, the State minister for Northern Uganda Rebecca Amuge Otengo who contested for Moroto County parliamentary seat dragged to court the Electoral commission and her opponent Samuel Okwir Odwee under miscellaneous cause number 06 0f 2016 seeking the court to order for a fresh recount of votes from three sub counties.
According to the affidavits sworn by Otengo, the exercise of counting, tallying and declaration was done in total contravention of principles of fairness, free, transparency and was marred with errors.
“That she established that from her polling agents and those that were in the tally center, she obtained the highest number of votes but the returning officer declared the results without the Declaration forms from 22 polling stations in Aloi Sub County”, reads part of the affidavit.
In the results declared by the Alebtong district returning officer Christine Eyu, Independent candidate Samuel Okwir Odwe polled 15087 votes representing 46.52%.
Amuge Otengo Rebecca got 12885 votes; incumbent Benson Obua Ogwal was third with 1306 votes while Nedi Tom Lawrence got 510 votes, among others.