Ijivitari petition dismissed

Another election petition case disputing an election has been dismissed by the National Court prior to trial.

The National Court in Popondetta has dismissed the petition disputing Richard Masere’s election as Ijivitari member. It was dismissed for being incompetent.

It was filed by losing candidate Sheldon Deilala, who alleged seven counts of bribery against Masere.

Masere, through his lawyer Dane Mel of Mel and Henry Lawyers, filed an objection to competency, which was heard on Monday 5 February at the beginning of a 5-day trial in Popondetta, Northern Province.

The trial was scheduled from 5-9 February before Justice Iova Geita at National Court Popondetta.

Masere’s lawyers argued that the law in this jurisdiction required prerequisite facts to be pleaded to support each ground of alleged bribery, amongst others.

In this case, his lawyers said facts were not sufficiently stated in the petition to support the element of criminal intent to commit acts of bribery.

Justice Geita upheld Objections to Competency motion on Thursday last week.

He dismissed the election petition for failing to plead sufficient facts, which is a breach of section 208 of the Organic Law on National and Local level Government Elections.

The petition was dismissed in its entirety and the court ordered Deilala to pay the cost.

(Richard Masere)

Sally Pokiton