By Andrew Irumba
Forum for democratic change (FDC) 2016 party candidate for Kibale County Parliamentary James Birungi Ozo’s case against NRM’s Eng.Mirembe Cuthbert Abigaba will not take off for hearing tomorrow Monday 8th/January 2018 as it had been set by the new presiding judge His Lordship Justice Ojok Anthony Oyuko at Boma Fort Portal. This was communicated at the last hour of Friday evening by the Judge himself via a telephone call when the petitioner’s lawyers of Ruganda,Ojok & Company Advocates based on Bombo road Kampala had already trekked the journey from Kampala to Fort portal High court to get the actual time of the commencement of the Monday hearing!
The Judge via a telephone call told them he would be in K’la on official duties. However,the petitioner Mr.James Birungi Ozo had called this reporter on Thursday evening, a day before, claiming his case was already being tampered with having got ‘a tip off’ from his contacts at NRM’s tactical office that indicated a hefty UGX 245M had been okayed by the top party honchos with a team of 5 members led by party’s chief whip and woman Mp Kiboga District Hon.Ruth Nankabirwa and Party’s spokesperson Rogers Mulindwa to camp in Fort Portal and ‘do whatever’ it takes to ensure a win for the party.
“You know that in its ruling last year, the court of Appeal kicked out the first Judge Her Lordship Elizabeth Kabanda and ordered for anew Judge after court found out that she had been compromised and made to make very outrageous rulings on my case, but now these mafias are trying to influence the new judge assigned to the case. However I have hope in this new one,he is principled, we hope he will not succumb to any machinations by these people now that they are carrying UGX 245m to simply buy victory” said Ozo on phone on Thursday.
Although this reporter couldn’t get Hon.Ruth Nankabirwa comment after several calls on her known number went unanswered, the Party’s spokesperson Mr.Rodgers Mulindwa strongly denied such ‘a farfetched lie’ saying Ozo might be suffering from mental dis-order!
“Let me tell you ‘bwana’ Irumba,simply tell off that guy that he is suffering from mental disorder, period. Infact I didn’t know that there was an election case in Fort Portal against NRM candidate, I’m hearing it for the first time. Our focus right now is on Ruhaama by election” said Mulindwa on phone this afternoon.
After the 2016 elections, Ozo took NRM’s Cuthbert Mirembe Abigaba to court seeking nullification of his victory on grounds of voter bribery, ballot stuffing, and violence against his supporters among other electoral malpractices.
High court in Fort Portal was ordered by Court of Appeal seating at Twed Towers Kampala to assign anew Judge and set date to hear and dispose off the case after the first Judge Justice Elizabeth Kabanda allegedly ‘mishandled’ it from the very beginning. The petitioner now awaits for a new date to be set.