The magistrate’s court in Pallisa has ordered the Gogonyo County parliamentary contestant, Mr Issa Bantalib Taligola [Ind] to pay Shs16m as costs of a case he lost to his rival.
Mr Taligola had petitioned court seeking a vote recount for the January 14 elections where he polled 6,214 votes to emerge second after Mr Derrick Orone, the National Resistance Movement candidate who got 6,280 votes.
Other candidates included Mr Francis Mukula [Ind] who polled 3687 votes, Mr Gerald Bonna [Ind] who got 699 votes, Mr Sam Ourumu [Ind] got 464 votes and Mr Michael Emuron [Ind] polled 167 votes
Mr Orone was represented by Katende and Ssempebwa Co Advocates.
Presiding Chief Magistrate Sylivia Nvanungi in her ruling directed Mr Taligola to pay costs of Shs8m to Mr Orone and Shs8m to the Electoral Commission.
She ruled that the applicant and his lawyers had failed to provide sufficient evidence to warrant a vote recount.
In his petition, Mr Taligola claimed that Mr Orone is not the rightful Gogonyo County MP as the tallying process was marred with irregularities.
The chief Magistrate further advised Taligola to appeal the judgment in the High Court if he is not comfortable with the court’s outcome.
Shortly after the ruling, Mr Orone told journalists that the electoral process was free and fair and the people of Gogonyo County overwhelmingly supported him.
“The court ruling ordering him to pay costs is welcome. There was little evidence to substantiate his allegations. The process was just a waste of time and resources,” Mr Orone said.
Although he said he will meet the costs of the case, Mr Taligola vowed to continue tracing where his votes were rigged from.
“My petition was for a vote recount but since court has denied us that opportunity, we shall abide by ruling but also turn to the court of God,” he said.