Judges hand down more lifelines, punishments from polls

Changamwe MP Omar Mwinyi (in white shirt) celebrates with his supporters at the Mombasa High Court after the court upheld his election. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]
Mandera Governor Ali Roba, and Nyamira’s John Nyagarama were among leaders given a new lease of life after courts dismissed petitions filed against them

Others who heaved a sigh of relief after yesterday’s rulings are Nyaribari Chache MP Richard Tongi, Victor Munyaka (Machakos), Benjamin Gathiru (Embakasi Central) and James Lusweti (Kabuchai).

Trans Nzoia Senator Michael Mbito also had reason to celebrate after a petition filed by his predecessor, Henry Ndiema, was thrown out by an Eldoret court on grounds of insufficient evidence.

Roba’s election

SEE ALSO :A jubilant Machakos town and a defiant Wavinya Ndeti...

Sitting in Nairobi yesterday, High Court judge Fred Ochieng’ upheld Roba’s election, saying there was no evidence to to warrant his victory being annulled.

Justice Ochieng’ dismissed all the grounds raised by the petitioner, Noor Hassan Noor, ruling that some witnesses gave contradictory statements.

“The petitioner and his own witnesses were not reading from the same script,” said Justice Ochieng’.

In Nyamira, Justice James Aaron Makau said the petitioner, Walter Nyambati failed to prove the various issues he raised against Nyagarama, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and its County Returning Officer David Towett.

Nyambati, who vied for the governor’s seat on a Jubilee Party ticket, had moved to court to challenge the victory of Nyagarama.

SEE ALSO :Costly poll petitions as winners smile to the bank

Justice Makau refused to grant Nyambati most of his prayers including claims of vote stuffing and that of county employees working as presiding officers during the august 8 general polls.

Justice Makau ruled that most of claims by Nyambati were broad as he failed to single out the specific polling stations where the errors and irregularities took place.

“Whoever wants the court to give judgement in matters that are brought before it should prove the same by way of giving sufficient evidence, “ ruled Justice Makau.

The petitioner will pay Sh3 million to Nyagarama and Sh2 million to IEBC and the returning officer.

In Kisii, Justice Anthony Ndung’u dismissed a petition challenging the election of Richard Tongi (Jubilee Party) as the Nyaribari Chache MP in the August 2017 general election.

SEE ALSO :Election Act returns to haunt leaders in bitter poll petitions

Justice Ndung’u ordered the three petitioners Chris Bichage (Orange Democratic Movement), Zaheer Jhanda (Wiper Democratic Movement) and James Kenani (Peoples Democratic Party) to pay Sh8.4 million as costs for the petition.

In Bungoma, the court dismissed a petition challenging the win of Kabuchai MP, James Lusweti. High Court Judge, Abida Ali Aroni ruled that the petitioner, Tale Nabangi, did not produce enough evidence to prove that the election was unfair.

The petitioner was ordered to pay Sh7 million in costs.

In Changamwe, Justice Njoki Mwangi dismissed Mohamed Daib Abdi’s (Jubilee Party) petition against ODM’s Omar Mwinyi and slapped him with a Sh8 million bill in costs.

Mr Abdi, through his lawyer Gikandi Ngubuni, said he would appeal ruling.

The High Court in Machakos also  dismissed a petition case challenging the election of Machakos Town MP, Victor Munyaka.

Sufficient evidence

Justice David Kemei ruled that the petition filed by former Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) national treasurer Urbanus Mutisya lacked sufficient evidence, and ordered him to pay Sh4 million cost of suit.

In Eldoret, a petition by former Trans Nzoia Senator Henry Ndiema seeking to nullify the election of Michael Mbito, was also dismissed on grounds of insufficient evidence.

Justice Kanyi Kimondo ruled that Mbito was validly elected and ordered Ndiema to pay Sh3 million in suit costs.

Embakasi Central MP Benjamin Gathiru also had reason to celebrate as the High Court in Nairobi upheld his election.

Judge Joseph Onguto said the petitioner Hezron Omondi failed to provide enough proof of irregularities,illegalities and forgery among others.

The petitioner was ordered to pay Sh 3 million that will be shared among all the three respondents.

Meanwhile, Steve Mbogo yesterday filed a notice of appeal indicating his dissatisfaction with a judgement that dismissed a petition against the election of Starehe MP Njagua Charles Kanyi.

Through lawyer Anthony Oluoch, Mbogo said he was dissatisfied with the judgement delivered by Judge Fred Ochieng on February 26, 2018.

[Graham Kajilwa,Kamau Muthoni, Stanley Ongwae, Edwin Nyarangi, Raphael Wanjala, Joackim Bwana, Willis Oketch, Michael Ollinga, Erastus Mulwa, Faith Karanja]

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