Just In: Tepeth County MP candidate Akol disqualified over lack of academic papers

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The Electoral Commission has disqualified an aspirant for Tepeth County in Moroto District for lack of academic papers.

In a letter signed by EC Chairperson, Simon Byabakama Mugenyi, Michael Akol was disqualified on December 22 following a petition by the incumbent MP Albert Lokoru, who noted that Akol does not have the required qualification for Member of Parliament.

A letter by Byabakama noted that after hearing the petition, it observed that Akol presented irregular academic papers to the Commission during nomination, and therefore the decision by the returning officer to nominate him for MP is immediately reversed.

“In light of the foregoing observations, the Commission under Minute on complaint 303/2020 found that Michael Akol does not possess the requisite minimum formal education for Member of Parliament, and was therefore not eligible to be nominated as Member of Parliament.

Accordingly, the Returning Officer’s decision to nominate him is reversed,” the letter reads in part.

Members of Parliament are required to have obtained a senior six certificate or its equivalent.

Albert Lokoru, the incumbent MP in November, filed a petition challenging Akol’s nomination for lack of academic papers.

The Commission established that Akol at the point of nomination submitted Ordinary Level Certificate allegedly awarded by Uganda National Examinations Board in 2019 just a year before nomination.

Although Akol, 47, the current LCIII Chairperson of Katikekile Sub-county in Moroto District presented a certificate and diploma obtained from Business Trust Institute, Kampala in 1999 and 2001 respectively, the Commission observed that this was quite odd considering that o level qualification is lower than the Diploma.

Having been disqualified from the race for Tepeth County MP, three candidates have remained in the race. They include Lokoru, Margaret Iryama and Robert Logit.

The Moroto District Registrar, Rose Lilly Lokuth says she received a complaint from the incumbent MP challenging the nomination of Akol based for lack of academic qualification.

She said she forwarded the petition to the head office which ultimately handled the matter arriving at the decision.

“I could not easily verify his papers at the time of nomination because I was alone,” I could not discover the discrepancies”.

Akol, when contacted for comment, said he is not satisfied with the position of the Electoral Commission and said he was carrying on his campaigns normally. He adds that he has petitioned the High Court.

URN