The High Court in Kampala has dismissed a petition in which National Unity Platform’s (NUP) Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu challenged Kampala Central Member of Parliament Muhammad Nsereko’s election in the January 14 polls.
Nyanzi challenged Nsereko’s January 14 Victory citing ballot stuffing, among other grounds and in the suit, the Electoral Commission and the returning officer were listed as respondents.
However, Electoral Commission lawyers asked court to dismiss the case on technicality since Nsereko, the third respondent had not been served.
In his defence, Nyanzi said all efforts to serve Nsereko with the petition proved futile and that when he went to his home in Bugoloobi, the police officer guarding the premises told him the legislator was not around, prompting him to leave the petition at the gate.
Nyanzi said he also went to parliament and left the petition with the speaker as well as serving the same on Nsereko’s WhatsApp number.
In her ruling read by the High Court’s Registrar, Jameson Karemani, Justice Margaret Apiny reasoned with the EC lawyers that indeed Nsereko was not personally served as had been directed by the court.
“In the instant case, the service that was expected of the petitioner(Nyanzi) was by effecting serving upon the third respondent personally and not place it in a conspicuous place as was done by depositing the notice of presentation of the petition at the gate,” the justice said.
Court said Nsereko, the second respondent was not duly served with the petition as required by the law.
“The attempts to serve the third respondent at parliament, Chief Magistrates Court in Mengo, his Bugoloobi residence with success and the transmission of the documents on WhatsApp did not amount to personal service envisioned under rule6(3) of the Parliamentary Election (Election petitions) Rules. It is therefore my finding that personal service was not effected upon the third respondent as directed by the court order,” Justice Margaret Apiny said.
“In the instant case, the service that was expected of the petitioner (Nyanzi) was by effecting serving upon the third respondent personally and not place it in a conspicuous place as was done by depositing the notice of presentation of the petition at the gate.”
Speaking in response to the court ruling, Nsereko welcomed the development that confirmed his place in parliament.
He said the law gives chance to those that are dissatisfied to petition,
he said the ruling has seen justice served for the people of Kampala Central who voted him in the January 14 polls.