By Stephen Candia in Arua
The high court in Arua was today Friday 10th June filled with ululations after Justice Joseph Mulangira dismissed with costs an election petition filed by Mr. Angualia Laus Richard, challenging the election of Alex Onzima, the MP Maracha constituency and also minister of state for local government.
The high court chambers in Arua was fully packed as the high court judge read his judgment on the petition, analyzing the issues raised in Angualia’s petition and the responses to it by Mr. Onzima one after another. ‘I have read and analyzed the issues presented before this honorable court and I’m ready to proceed with my ruling” Mr. Mulangira said.
Angualia accused Mr. onzima Alex of among other issues, voter bribery, not complying with electoral laws and prayed for cancellation of Onzima’s victory in the recently concluded Presidetial and Parliamentary elections and that court should order for fresh elections, but the judge dismissed the petition saying all the affidavits presented by Mr. Angualia were based on hear-say.
“ The petitioner (Angualia) did not tell this court the truth on the two affidavits you swore when I called Joyce Andezu the commissioner of oath to find out, we found out that the signature on the affidavit was that of Mr. Alioni Marcello the G two magistrate here in Arua not that of the Commissioner of Oath as you claimed, this was not an affidavit at all!” Mr. Mulangira said.
The judge added “A petitioner must present all facts that offer true proof on his allegations to the satisfaction of the court; instead you relied on the wishes of the court. There must be that kind of evidence that is true. Angualia’s affidavits do not stand the taste of the matter in court and that they were outside the law”
Angualia’s lawyer Kaleb Alaka of Alaka and company advocates kept a low profile as justice Mulangira proceeded with his ruling.
Jospeph Mulangira further said Mr. Angualia systematically failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the bribery allegations by Mr. Onzima to women groups in Maracha, Moslems, and a donation of iron sheets to Kakwa primary school. The judge said Mr. Angualia’s complains were misplaced and therefore dismissed the petition with costs.
Hon. Alex Aadroa Onzima was represented by Counsel Jonathan Tiyo on behalf of Okello Oryem and company advocates.
In his reaction after the ruling, Minister Onzima said Angualia should learn a lesson not to behave like a child. “Angualia has failed to grow, he is like a child younger than the unborn baby. No one has ever dragged me to court since I joined politics, that’s why president Museveni agreed to work with me and assigned me with the responsibility of a Minister. Angualia must meet all the costs we have incurred and of this and the previous courts” the furious but joyous loking Onzima said.
Mr. Onzima thanked the people of Maracha that stood by him ‘ I want to thank all the people who have stood by me including those from Terego, I will work together with you’ the Minister said.
However Agualia Laus Richard said the judgment was not right. “It’s our right to go to court and we are going to appeal against this judgment. This is very unfair judgment infact we are going to appeal right now” Angualia said but ruled out queries on whether he thinks the judge was bribed to make the judgment in the manner he did. END