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Judge forced to briefly adjourn hearing as opposing parties clashed

By James Omoro | Published Wed, November 15th 2017 at 00:00, Updated November 14th 2017 at 23:45 GMT +3
Former Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga in the dock during commencement of hearing on election petition he filed against Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti (Photo:James Omoro|Standard)

Supporters of Governor Cyprian Awiti and those of former Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga clashed in the court corridors yesterday.

Justice Joseph Karanja had to briefly adjourn the hearing of the case in which Mr Magwanga is disputing Governor Awiti's election, to allow security orderlies separate the two sides.

The supporters clashed as they scrambled to enter the court room, with each side accusing the other of barring them from the proceedings.

Minutes later, the youths were exchanging insults outside the courtroom, prompting Magwanga's lawyer, Charles Kanjama, to request for a 30-minute adjournment, saying the environment for the hearing was not conducive.

Justice Karanja ordered the lawyers to talk to their clients to quell tension among their supporters and warned both parties against attending court proceedings accompanied by rowdy youths.

"We cannot continue with the proceedings if you cannot control your supporters," the judge said.

Earlier, Magwanga had been put to task to prove his claims that he won the Homa Bay Governor's seat.

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Governor Awiti's lawyer, Tom Ojienda and Frederic Orego for the Independent Electoral and  Boundaries Commission (IEBC), said Magwanga had no proof that he won the August 8 elections.

But the former MP argued he had a parallel tallying centre whose results revealed he garnered 224,863 votes against Awiti’s 174,235 votes.

"I came to know that I had won the election through results generated by my tallying agents at the centres,” he said.

However, IEBC declared Awiti the victor with 210,173 votes against Magwanga's 189,060.

Lawyer Orego questioned the authenticity of a number of forms presented by Magwanga.

“Some of the petitioner’s forms were not signed by his agents. Therefore we cannot establish how the forms were generated,” said Orego.

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