Ruling National Resistance Movement’s Bernard Onen Odoi, who was a few weeks ago disqualified from the race of the youth Member of Parliament for Eastern Uganda for being too old has won the same race.
The Electoral Commission chairperson in a December 31, 2020 letter disqualified Odoi from the youth elections for Eastern Uganda on grounds that the academic papers he submitted for nomination were not compatible with his age.
“Whereas the said candidate stated in his nomination paper that he is 29 years old, according to his voter registration details, his date of birth is 27th August 1990 and this makes him 30 years by the time he was nominated. The same date of birth is captured as such in the village youth council nomination register for the period July/August 2020,” Byabakama said in the letter.
“Further given that the said candidate admitted that he completed the Uganda Certificate of Education in 1999, this makes the date of birth of 28th August 1991 improbable, given the mandatory years required for one to attain both primary and secondary education in Uganda. He definitely could not have completed O level education at eight years of age.”
However, Odoi appealed against the disqualification by the Electoral Commission and on Sunday, Justice Emmanuel Baguma of the High Court in Kampala reinstated him in the race.
The judge ruled that the official birth certificate, National identification card and passport prove that Odoi was born on 28th August 1991 and not 1990 .
“The petitioner(Odoi) also presented a notification of change of error in the information from NIRA regarding his date of birth. This court is therefore bound by the official documents issued by NIRA and the National Citizenship and Immigration Board about the date of birth of the petitioner since they are the authorized bodies with bio-data in Uganda to validate such information in line with Section 5 (1) (h) of the Registration of Persons Act, cited above. In the final result, court finds that the official Birth certificate, National identification card and passport prove that the petitioner was born on the 28th August 1991,” Justice Baguma said in a ruling dated December 31, 2020 and delivered by email.
“The petitioner(Odoi) is a youth within the meaning of the National Youth Council Act, Cap. 319 and the National Youth Council Act, Cap. 319 (as amended). The petitioner was validly nominated by the first respondent(EC) on the 22nd day of December, 2020 to contest for the elective office of Eastern Region representative of the Youth to Parliament.”
The court, therefore, ruled that Odoi was eligible to contest for the elective office of Eastern Region representative of the Youth to Parliament.
However, a day later on Monday, the candidate beat five others to win the race.
According to results announced by the Electoral Commission on Tuesday morning, Odoi 967 votes against Sumaya Aliza Balunywa’s 448 votes, Jackline Ajego’s 208 votes, Thadeo Judas Wanyama’s 105 votes, Alfred Ongwen’s 11 votes and Solomon John Nanyanda’s one vote.