Appeal court orders MP Ogwari out of Parliament

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Appeal court orders MP Ogwari out of Parliament
Ochwa is confirmed the winner of Agule County seat

In their judgment, the justices concurred with Ochwa's argument, stating that Ogwari's nomination was illegal due to his possession of only a certificate in electrical installation, obtained after completing Senior Four at the time of his nomination.

The Court of Appeal has ordered Polycarp Ogwari to vacate the position of Member of Parliament for Agule County with immediate effect.

The panel of three justices Fredrick Egonda-Ntende, Eva Luswata, and Oscar Kihika also declared David Ochwa as the rightful winner of the Agule County seat, effective from the date of this judgment.

Additionally, Ogwari has been directed to cove

r the costs of both the lower court and the Court of Appeal.

In their judgment, the justices concurred with Ochwa's argument, stating that Ogwari's nomination was illegal due to his possession of only a certificate in electrical installation, obtained after completing Senior Four at the time of his nomination.

"The 1st Respondent (Ogwari) claims to possess a certificate of equivalence. However, the Second Respondent contends that he lacked the qualifications necessary for nomination," the justices said.

"Examination of the documents submitted reveals an O-Level certificate and verification of results for Parts II and III in electrical installation craft courses taken at Uganda Technical College, Elgon. The failure to present the certificate of equivalence was deemed fatal, rendering the nomination invalid," the ruling added.

The justices emphasised that only the National Council for Higher Education holds the authority to equate qualifications and issue a Certificate of Equivalence, which must be submitted at the time of nomination.

"It is the finding of this court that the failure to submit the Certificate of Equivalence was fatal and rendered the nomination invalid," the justices concluded.

The election petition originated from the 2021 general election, during which Ogwari, an independent NRM-leaning candidate, was declared the winner of the Agule MP seat with 7,190 votes, while Ochwa came in second with 6,908 votes.

In his appeal, Ogwari contested the High Court Judge's decision, alleging errors in law and fact, particularly the failure to address and resolve the legal matters raised, which led to the dismissal of his plea to be declared the winner of the election.

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