Lira magistrate blocks nomination of West Lango bishop

Thursday May 26 2011

By Emmanuel Opio & Bill Oketch

The Magistrate’s Court in Lira District on Tuesday blocked the Anglican synod which was to oversee the nomination of two persons to the office of the Bishop of West Lango Diocese.
The decision to block the meeting that was to take place yesterday came after a cross section of Christians sought an interim court order restraining the church from convening the extra-ordinary synod.

Through their lawyer, the plaintiffs argued that the synod sat in 2010 and nominated two senior clergies, whose names were forwarded to the House of Bishops for appointment to the diocesan.

The Christians want to know why the House of Bishops abandoned the first nominees, which included Rev. Canon Milton Oto Olima and Rev. Alfred Acurx.

The plaintiffs also said the suspension and dismissal of Oto and Rev. Ceaser Obot was unlawful. They said the duo was suspended without giving them the opportunity to be heard.
Grade One Magistrate Everest Palodi also heard that Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki, after confusion brewed in the Church of Uganda, advised the church to validate the two candidates but the church leaders ignored him.

The court ruled that the applicants’ query was legitimate. “After issuing the order they (applicants) and the respondents can still sit down and solve the matter amicably,” Mr Palodi advised.

“If they stick to court, they will divide the church. If you are bringing the church to court, it is reality disappointing. We go to church for spiritual redress, so for them to come here is political sickness, social sickness and spiritual sickness,” he added.
“The applicants might be like the stone that builders rejected but may again be used as a corner stone,” Mr Palodi advised.