Abiriga Asks Court to Order EC to Gazette him Arua Municipality MP

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In short
Abirigas lawyers led by Edwin Karugira argued that the academic papers submitted by their client were genuine and certified by the National Council for Higher Education.

Ibrahim Abiriga, the embattled Arua Municipality Member of parliament elected has asked Nakawa High court through his lawyer, Edwin Karugire to compel Electoral Commission-EC to gazette him. 

Abiriga was declared elected Arua Municipality Member of Parliament after defeating Bruce Charles Musema Asiki, the former Forum for Democratic Change FDC party candidate and Arua Mayor and Meta Aloro, an independent candidate, in the February 18th polls.
Prior to his election, concerned voters led by Dickson Adomati petitioned Electoral Commission to cancel Abiriga's nomination on grounds that he had used fake papers for his nominations. In his petition, Adomati argued that Abiriga doesn't have the requisite advanced level education certificate or its equivalent, the minimum education qualification for parliamentary contestants.
Adomati claimed that Abiriga has a collection of certificates from various institutions, which cannot be equated to the A-level certificate. Following investigations, Electoral Commission cancelled Abiriga's nomination on February 3rd, saying Uganda National Examinations Board and the National Council for Higher Education had denied certifying his academic documents.
However, through his lawyers, Kiwanuka and Kirugire Company advocates, Abiriga secured a court order restraining EC from implementing the decision, which allowed him to contest in the polls. Despite winning the polls, Abiriga is yet to be gazette. This morning his lawyer, Edwin Karugire asked Nakawa High court presided over by Justice Damalie Lwanga to direct Electoral Commission to gazette his client.

Karugire told court that the academic certificated submitted by their client for nominations were genuine, and were certified by the National Council for Higher Education.  He submitted fresh copies of the certificates to court.  They included a Uganda Certificate of Education-UCE from Lugogo Center issued in 2007 and two other certificates from Uganda Christian University and Uganda Management Institute.

Justice Damalie Lwanga set May 11th for ruling on the matter despite the fact that Electoral Commission was not represented in court. When asked why EC wasn't represented, Jotham Taremwa, the EC spokesperson, said they were not aware about the hearing. He said their lawyer would follow an application asking the judge to allow EC present its case.


Mentioned: high court nrm

About the author

Ronald Batre
Ronald Batre is so passionate about journalism that he did not wait to finish school before he started his career. This is how he started with Radio Paidha, The West Niler, Daily Monitor newspapers and later with Radio Pacis as Assistant News Editor.

To be allowed to practice his passion, Batre had struck a deal with his parents. He would complete his education. He kept his word and went through school while suporting himself with his journalism.

Entering the workplace so young attuned Batre to the plight of the youth and those who seek employment. Apart from that, he is interested in reporting about politics, local government, business and the environment. A witness to some of the destructive impact of the Lord's Resistance Army rebellion in northern Uganda, Batre is interested in reporting about peace building efforts too.

Uganda Radio Network's former Gulu bureau chief, Batre is now based in Kampala. He is URN's main politics correspondent. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.