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Court dismisses petition against eastern youth MP Odoi

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By Yahudu Kitunzi

The High Court in Mbale City has dismissed an election petition against the Eastern Youth Member of Parliament (MP), Mr Bernard Odoi Onene Mutusa.

Mr Odoi’s victory was challenged by Ms Sumaya Aliza Balunywa, who alleged that the former had illegally contested for the position because he was overage.

The EC Lawyer, Mr Patrick Wetaka, told journalists that Justice Cornelia Sabiti Kakooza on Wednesday dismissed the case on grounds that Ms Balunywa didn’t serve the first respondent (Mr Odoi) on time as stipulated in the law.

“The judge was convinced and he dismissed the entire petition,” Mr Wetaka said, adding that if the petitioner is not satisfied with the ruling, she should appeal.

READ: NRM’s Odoi declared eastern youth MP-elect amid voter bribery claims

Ms Balunywa’s lawyer, Robert Bautu, however, said they are not satisfied by the decision taken by the court.

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“We filed this petition and we served all the respondents including Mr Odoi and his lawyers. They decided to stay away and they convinced the court that we didn’t serve them on time,” he said, adding: “We are going to appeal next week and we shall win the case,” he said.

Mr Odoi was declared winner of the hotly contested seat after he garnered 967 votes against his closest contender, Ms Balunywa (448).

Mbale High Court has 31 election petitions and six judges have been allocated to hear the cases.

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