On February 10th, a decision was made by the Arua High Court Judge Justice Vincent Okwanga to freeze parliamentary elections
The court of appeal in Kampala has given the parliamentary elections in Upper Madi-Okollo a go-ahead.
"By way of interim order, the orders made by the High Court in Civil Suit No.0024 of 2015 that results in not having the parliamentary elections held in Upper Madi Okollo constituency on February 18, 2016 be stayed," the interim order reads in part.
The order was issued on Wednesday, just few hours to the holding of the elections.
On February 10th, a decision was made by the Arua High Court Judge Justice Vincent Okwanga to freeze parliamentary elections for Upper Madi Okollo County to allow for the reinstatement of the NRM flag-bearer Isaac Etuka.
Okwanga ordered the Electoral Commission (EC) to restore the nomination of Etuka as NRM flag-bearer and extend campaigns in the constituency for 60 days from February 18 to allow for organisation of proper parliamentary elections.
Martin Drito who sparked off the case as a consequence of the contentious primary elections was fined sh7m as special damages to be paid to Etuka to recover his nomination fees for both the primary elections and the general elections and personal expenses incurred on the nomination day before his candidature was cancelled.
Drito is also to pay general damages and costs yet to be determined to Etuka and the NRM at a 10% interest till the payment in full.
Through KOB advocates and solicitors, Drito and the IEC jointly petitioned the court of appeal in Kampala last Friday with the IEC complaining that it had already spent a lot of tax payers' money on printing ballot papers, while Drito contents that the Judgment was erroneous.
"Take notice that the plaintiff/counter-claimant above named being dissatisfied by the decision of the high court delivered by his lordship Vincent Okwanga, appeal against the whole judgment and orders," the notice of appeal reads in part.
The application came before Justice Remmy Kasule in the presence of Drito's lawyer Marshall Alenyo and Stephen Kiyaga, counsel for the electoral commission.
"The parliamentary elections he held in the said Upper Madi Okollo constituency on February 18, 2016 and all the candidates duly nominated for the parliamentary election as of February 17, 2016 be voted for by the voters," Kasule ordered.
He has fixed March 1st, 2016 as the date for hearing the substantive application.
While responding to the new developments, Etuka said he will first seek information from his lawyer before making comments while Drito labeled it as a triumph for democracy.
"I am only happy that the people of Upper Madi Okollo who were going to be derailed by selfish interest of an individual have been allowed to exercise their right to vote," Drito said.
Others in the race for the Madi Okollo parliamentary seat are former MP John Arumadri, of FDC and independents Jimmy Madira, Bruno Onzima and Asedri Ayeni.