Nebbi Municipality MP kicked out of Parliament

Court has nullified the election of Nebbi Municipality MP Hashim Suleiman (NRM) over lack of minimum academic qualifications and ordered for fresh elections.

The Arua High Court Judge, Anthony Ojok ejected Suleiman from parliament on Thursday after the petitioner proved that he lacked Advanced Level (A’ level) certificate.

The former candidate in Nebbi Municipality race, Robert Onega (FDC), petitioned the court citing irregularities in the electoral process and rejected Mr Suleiman’s victory.

During campaigns, Suleiman through his lawyer Erias Lukwago (Kampala Lord Mayor) convinced the voters that he had all the qualities and qualifications to be their MP. He was then elected as the first Municipality MP in July last year after its elevation to municipality status.

Suleiman won the seat with 124 votes. 
The High Court Judge for Arua, Anthony Ojok, on Thursday agreed that the MP did not have the minimum academic qualifications.

During the hearing sessions, the High Court scrutinized the academic documents of Suleiman and noted various variations in his names and concluded that he lacked academic qualifications.

“There is room for fresh election according to electoral law, if any one doesn’t have sportive document for his or her elective position. I so order for fresh elections,” the Judge ruled.

After the court session at Nebbi, the petitioner, Robert Onega was then arrested by the police as he attempted to hold a procession from court through the town to celebrate the victory. Several people had to scamper for their lives as police fired teargas.

In court, Lukwago argued that Suleiman was illegally nominated by the Electoral Commission.
In his ruling, the judge agreed with Lukwago that by the time of nomination Suleiman did not have the equivalent of ‘A’ level qualification which qualifies him to be a member of parliament for Nebbi municipality.

Lukwago said: “We should have been happier if our client was declared the winner during the election, but any way justice has prevailed.”

“The law is very clear for the people of Nebbi municipality now, to elect their true leader of their choice with recommended qualifications.”

Suleiman vowed to appeal the court ruling. “I am not satisfied with it,” he said.