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Court of Appeal returns minister Charles Engora as Oyam North MP
The Court of Appeal has overturned the Lira High court decision which had nullified Defence Minister Okello Engora Macodwongo's election as the Oyam North MP on allegations of lack of requisite academic qualification.
State MinIster for defence Col Charles Okello being congratulated by supporters at court on Monday. DAILY MONITOR PHOTO

State MinIster for defence Col Charles Okello being congratulated by supporters at court on Monday. DAILY MONITOR PHOTO

The Court of Appeal has overturned the Lira High court decision which had nullified Defence Minister Okello  Engora Macodwongo's election as  the Oyam North MP  on allegations of lack of requisite academic qualification.

In June last year, Lira High court judge Jessica Naiga Ayebazibwe cancelled the victory of Minister Macodwongo after believing the evidence of his political rival  UPC's Ayena Odongo that the minister used someone else's Masters Degree in Arts and Public Administration to obtain nomination and subsequent election as Oyam North MP.

Justice Naiga then ordered for a by-election to be conducted to fill the then-vacant post prompting minister Machodwongo to seek redress in the court of Appeal.

However today 3 court of Appeal justices including ; former DCJ Steven Kavuma, Elizabeth Musoke and Chebirion Barishaki have faulted justice Naiga for wrongly applying the law on election matters  when she shifted the burden of proof of academic qualifications from the petitioner (Ayena Odongo) to minister Macodwongo(respondent) well knowing that naturally, he who alleges must prove to court's satisfaction.

The justices have however ruled that after a careful perusal of the evidence on record, it's their view that the minister possesses more than the required academic qualifications of an MP having presented a masters degree for the nomination.

The court has ruled that the discrepancies in the minister's names of Okello Charles Peter and Okello P. Engora Macodogwo did not have an effect on his academic qualifications as earlier decided by justice Naiga.

In the result, Minister Macodogwo has been declared and confirmed as the Oyam North MP and ordered that he recovers costs of the petition in both courts from Ayena Odongo.