Throw away poll petition against jailed MP Ssegirinya” EC asks Court of Appeal.

By Adam Bukenya Updated at Friday 11 February 2022 1313 EAT

What you need to know:

  • According to the application filed before the Appellate Court, the electoral body through its senior legal officer Mr Jude Mwassa stated that there was no appeal on record by Mr Sulaiman Kidandala Serwadda.

The Electoral Commission has asked the Court of Appeal to dismiss an election petition with costs against the jailed Kawempe North MP, Mohammad Ssegirinya.

They further noted that Mr Kidandala also failed to take an essential step in the institution and prosecution of the intended appeal nor did he file a memorandum of appeal required to prosecute the appeal, thus it should be dismissed.

That on the September 8, 2021, the respondent (Mr Kidandala) filed a notice of appeal in the High Court and served the same on the applicant (EC) on September 15, and he is required to have filed the memorandum of Appeal by September 22 and the record of Appeal by October 22,” reads in part Mr Mwassa’s affidavit.

He adds: “That the respondent having filed the said notice of appeal did not file a memorandum of Appeal and Record of Appeal in Court. He has not exercised due diligence in the prosecution of the intended appeal.”

Last year, High Court Judge Henrietta Wolayo dismissed a poll petition that was challenging the election of Ssegirinya as Kawempe North MP.

Justice Wolayo in her ruling observed that there was no proof of effective service on Mr Ssegirinya, who at the time was being held at Kitalya government prison.

According to the judge, the non-service of the election petition on Mr Ssegirinya, meant that there was no election petition before him challenging his January 14 election.

“In summary, having found that the officer in charge (OC) of Kitalya prison did not endorse the notice of presentation of the petition, there was ineffective service. Applying the principle to the instant case, it goes against the strict application of the special procedures under the Act for me to extend time for service of the petition,” ruled Justice Wolayo.

The ruling of the court arose out of an application by the EC, in which it had sought dismissal of Mr Kidandala’s petition, citing failure to serve Mr Ssegirinya with the same petition as the election laws demand.

However, being dissatisfied with the ruling Mr Kidandala filed a notice of appeal in the Appellant court.

During the January 14 parliamentary elections, the EC returned Mr Ssegirinya as the winner of Kawempe North elections with 41,197 votes while Mr Kidandala garnered 7212 votes.

It should be remembered that the good news found MP Ssegirinya in prison where, he is still held to date alongside his colleague, Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West) on allegations of being behind the recent spate of killings by machete welding goons in the Greater Masaka region.

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