By Sania Babirye
The Court of Appeal has this morning dismissed with costs an election appeal by NRMs Daniel Ibaale that was challenging the victory of FDC’s Abdul Katuntu as the Bugweri county member of parliament.
Three justices including the now out-going Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma , Remmy Kasule and Richard Buteera have unanimously upheld the Jinja high court decision and confirmed that Hon. Katuntu is the validly elected Member.
In a ruling read by the deputy registrar Taddeo Asiimwe,the 3 justices ruled that Ibaale was seen leaving Ensulo lodge to go for nomination and this being a statement of fact, they is no way it could have defamed the candidature of Ibaale.
The justices also ruled that they could not order a recount because Ibaale did not prove enough evidence to warrant a recount.
The Court dismissed all the twelve grounds that Ibaale had appealed for, for lack of merit and ordered him to pay Katuntu costs of the petition for both in Jinja High court and court of Appeal.
In August 2016, Justice Margaret Mutonyi dismissed Ibaale’s petition on grounds that it lacked merit after he failed to adduce sufficient evidence to prove his allegations including defamation.
However being dissatisfied with the ruling, he appealed in the court of appeal.
He accused the judge of not allowing him a chance to file responses to Katuntu’s evidence, were he accused Katuntu of uttering defamatory statements against him during campaigns.
Ibaale had also alleged that Katuntu made defamatory statements to the effect that he was not fit for election as MP because he did not have a home in Bugweri county Consistency and emerged out of a lodge to go for nomination.
Ibaale had claimed that the said words belittled him before the voters to the benefit of Katuntu who was over overwhelmingly voted with a winning margin of over 30,000 votes.