ARUA – Arua Chief Magistrate’s Court has directed the Electoral Commission to compensate Shs50m to a candidate who lost the Terego West parliamentary race after the electoral body failed to provide the ballot boxes in the court case.
Moses Angundru, who ran as an independent and lost to the National Resistance Movement flag bearer, Mr Joel Leku, had petitioned court, seeking a vote recount.
Angundru garnered 8,126 votes while Leku got 10,218 votes. There were 1,184 invalid votes and 29 spoilt votes out of 24,049 total votes cast.
But in his court petition, Angundru claimed that some of the invalid votes could be his since counting was done beyond 11:00 pm at some polling stations.
And on Sunday, when Arua Chief Magistrate,Daniel Lubowa led both parties to the EC offices at Terego District headquarters to inspect the ballot boxes before issuing the order for the vote recount, the District Registrar, Paul Meru was nowhere to be seen.
While the magistrate dismissed Angundru’s petition, he ruled that since EC failed to avail the ballot boxes, it should pay the petitioner and the MP-elect costs of the suit and general damages.
Leku’s lawyer Sam Ondoma welcomed the ruling by the Chief Magistrate, saying even if all the 1,184 invalid votes were given to Angundru he would still lose.
Leku, the Terego West MP-elect, said this is not the first he has been dragged to court and won.
Angundru had also lost to Leku in the September NRM primaries.