Gulu High Court Judge, Justice Tadeo Asiimwe, has ordered the Election Commission (EC) to conduct a fresh election for Member of Parliament for Aruu South Constituency in Pader District.
The directive stems from a petition by the former Aruu County MP Mr Samuel Odonga Otto who sought to nullify the election of Mr Christopher Komakech citing irregularities.
Komakech becomes the first MP to be thrown out of the 11th Parliament as hearing of election petitions takes course.
After losing his Aruu County seat in the just concluded 2021 general election, Odonga through his lawyer Mr Dalton Charles Opwonya from Opwonya & Co. Advocates, filed an election petition against Komakech saying that he did not officially resign from his civil service job before joining Parliament.
Mr Christopher Komakech was represented by Mr Patrick Alunya and Mr Standly Omony and the EC lawyer Ms Jenifer Angeyo.
Court found out that Komakech did not address his resignation letter to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health as required by the Public Service Standing Order, he instead addressed his resignation letter to the wrong person.
“We Court found out that Mr Komakech was invalidly nominated as a Parliamentary candidate for Aruu County since he did not resign from his work as a civil servant,” Justice Asiimwe said.
“He is still a civil servant being employed at Butabika National Referral Mental Hospital as a Psychiatric Nurse,” he adds.
Court also established that Mr Komakech instead submitted his resignation letter on the June 25, 2020 to the office of the Executive Director Butabika Hospital and it was received by the authority on the June 30, 2020.
“There was no record in the office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health concerning resignation of Mr Christopher Komakech,” the judge said.
Public Service Standing Order stipulates that, a Public Officer who wishes to resign from a Public office shall apply to the Government by giving a notice of thirty (30) days. The officer shall not leave office until his or her application to resign has been approved in writing indicating the date the officer may leave.
He said the court also learnt that Mr Komakech had been receiving his salaries, however, explained that he refunded the money to the government.
“The order comes with no cost attached to it, the Electoral commission should organize a fresh election for the Member of Parliament for Aruu County County,” the judge ruled.
“After going through harassment during campaigns, detaining my car for 90 days, remand to Gulu to Prison, going to Nairobi Hospital after poison..Justice Asiimwe Tadeo nullifies Aruu elections. I see God’s hands through him. I am all in tears,” Mr Odonga took to twitter after the judgment.