Friday January 31 2014

Ambassador arrested over Shs89m poll petition debt

Dr Francis Epetait (C) dances after victory

Dr Francis Epetait (C) dances after victory upon winning the 2011 elections. PHOTO by Richard Otim 

By Richard Otim


Uganda’s envoy to Sudan Abraham Isamat was Wednesday afternoon arrested at Entebbe Airport over an unpaid court fine.
According to Mr Otim, a cousin, the ambassador was trying to catch a flight back to his duty station in Khartoum when court bailiffs intercepted him.
“We got a (phone) call from him late in the afternoon saying he had been arrested. It is because of a court fine after losing an election petition,” Mr Otim said.

The petition followed the outcome of the February 18, 2011 parliamentary election results for Ngora County during which he lost to his main challenger and incumbent, Dr Francis Epetait, who beat him with a 177-vote margin.
Dr Isamat’s petition was upheld and the election results were nullified, however, Dr Epetait challenged the ruling at the Court of Appealwhich overturned the Soroti High Court verdict.

The ambassador confirmed that the court bailiffs were acting on instructions of Dr Epetait’s lawyers for a shs89million court fine.
Dr Epetait said he was not aware of the ambassador’s arrest, saying it was a matter that the court had, however, taken up.

“With issues of court, if they summon you and you keep avoiding them, soon the law catches up with you. I am aware he has been arrested but the court fine (of shs89 million) is long overdue,” Dr Epetait said.
A source told the Daily Monitor that the ambassador had hinted on his impending arrest to some people during the NRM 28th anniversary celebrations in Mukura.