Lira City West Division Speaker, Okello Daniel, Retains Office Amid Quorum Dispute

Lira City West Division Speaker, Okello Daniel, Retains Office Amid Quorum Dispute

By OKIDI PATRICK | GULU


On Tuesday afternoon, the Lira City Electoral Commission Returning Officer, Rashid Hasaka, ruled in favor of Lira City West Division Speaker, Okello Daniel, allowing him to remain legally in office as the substantive speaker of Lira City West Division. The decision came after a contentious council meeting where some councilors vehemently sought to remove him from office.

During the two-day special council session, only 21 out of 41 councilors were present to decide the fate of Hon Okello Daniel. The council session was chaired by the Lira City Returning Officer, as per court guidance. The names of the councilors present in the session were listed as follows:

– Zane Apolot
– Mugisha James
– Akello Mary
– Adyebo Denis
– Deputy Mayor Rose Ongom
– Elong Costa
– Atto Christine
– Akello Flavia
– Akaa Samuel Okello
– Eriko Walter
– Amongi Beatrice
– Atto Doris
– Achila James
– Otim Bonny
– Among Joyce
– Olira Denis
– Opio Tonny B
– Okello Daniel
– Opio John
– Akullo Grace
– Atim Sofia
– Ojok Elvis

However, Zaina Apolot raised concerns about two absent councilors who had apologies for their absence. She argued that their votes should be included to fulfill the two-thirds majority required for such decisions.

In response, the Returning Officer stated, “You can bend the law, but you cannot break the law because you want something done. Let us not rush, if we rush, we may crush,” appealing to the honorable Councilors to adhere to the rule of law when deciding on the motion to remove the speaker.

Rashid Hasaka clarified that based on the attendance list from Monday, there were only 21 members present, and the law required a two-thirds majority, which wasn’t achieved. As a result, he dismissed the petition to remove the speaker.

Youth councilor, Eriko Walter, attempted to explain the interpretation of the “two-thirds” rule as stated in the local government act, but the Returning Officer firmly guided the Councilors according to the law.

Previously, Lira high court judge, Justice Dancun Gaswaga, ruled that Okello’s censorship process was lawful.

In an exclusive interview with the media following the ruling, Speaker Daniel Okello expressed his excitement, stating that the case was dismissed on its merits. He called for reconciliation among the Councilors to focus on delivering service to the people.

Addressing allegations that he hid some council members in Gulu city, Okello denied such claims and stated that they might be at their respective homes.

Despite the ruling in favor of Okello, some Councilors, who chose to remain anonymous, hinted that their efforts to remove him from office were not over, and they would continue pursuing the matter in due time.

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