The National Unity Platform (NUP) flag bearer, Mr Simon Toolit Akecha, was among the four candidates nominated yesterday for the Omoro County parliamentary by-election.
The others are Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) flag bearer Oscar Kiiza and two independent candidates; Mr Terrence Odonga and Mr Jimmy Walter Onen.
Whereas the Electoral Commission had booked four candidates, only three turned up while the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) flag bearer, Mr Dick Denis Owani, failed to show up by 5pm when the nomination exercise was closed for day one.
At about 4pm in the absence of Mr Owani, Mr Kiiza was slotted in by the Electoral Commission to be nominated as the fourth candidate.
But Mr Moses Kagona, the district returning officer, said the FDC candidate will be nominated should he appear at the venue today.
“In our records, four candidates booked today to be nominated for that position and it is only the FDC party candidate who did not turn up among the four. However, the law allows him to still be nominated within the prescribed period for nominations,” Mr Kagona said.
Meanwhile, police said they were investigating claims that Mr Owani had been kidnapped before the nomination. Ms Damalie Nachuha, the Aswa regional police commander, told this publication that they were trying to ascertain the truth behind it.
“We are following up the matter and if indeed it was a kidnap, then we shall bring those who were involved to book,” Ms Nachuha said.
She, however, added that Mr Owani was free and safe.
“What I am sure of is that, for now he is safe, we have reached out to him personally, we believe any time from now, he will be appearing before the Electoral Commission officials to be nominated, and we shall question him,” Ms Nachuha added.
Information obtained by this publication indicates that the FDC candidate claimed he was abducted by occupants of an unidentified vehicle who were trailing him.
“He claims they (kidnappers) caught up with him from Adida Village in Omoro District but later abandoned him at Corner Kamdini in Oyam District,” Mr David Ongom Mudong, the Aswa River region police spokesperson, stated.
Mr Justine Odong, the Omoro District FDC party chairperson, said the kidnappers confiscated Mr Owani’s academic papers and other credentials he was meant to present for nomination.
“He was released by the kidnappers but all his documents were taken away and that means he needed to move and look for where he kept the originals,” Mr Odong said.
He added that their flag bearer will be nominated today “without fail.”