Blow to Ugenya MP as Court of Appeal dismisses petition

Ugenya MP Chris Karan of ODM after Kisumu High Court nullified his win on 1st March 2018. [Photo: Collins Oduor, Standard]
Ugenya MP Chris Karan (pictured) has lost his bid to hold on to the seat after the Court of Appeal turned down his petition.

Mr Karan, who contested on an ODM ticket, had gone to the court to try to overturn a High Court verdict that nullified his victory on grounds that he was not validly elected.

The politician said he was ready to face his opponent, former MP David Ochieng’, in a by-election.

The supporters of the two politicians celebrated at the court grounds, with Karan saying the decision was a test of the strength of ODM in Ugenya.

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His supporters blocked the court entrance, chanting ODM slogans and vowing to upset Mr Ochieng’ in the repeat elections.

Earlier, attempts by the supporters to get into the courtroom had been foiled by police officers, who only allowed a few people to enter.

Justice Hanna Okwengu, who read the ruling, stated that the three-judge bench had found that Karan had failed to prove his appeal and, therefore, dismissed his case with costs.

Karan had listed nine grounds why his election victory should stand. He had also accused Kisumu High Court judge Thrispisa Cherere of erring in law when she nullified his election back in March.

He told the Court of Appeal that Justice Cherere denied him a chance at a fair trial when he was thrown out of the petition for presenting fake medical documents. During the first trial, Karan had made an application seeking more time to file his responses but Justice Cherere said some papers he had presented were fake and that he was untruthful. The judge consequently locked him out of the petition.

Yesterday, Justice Okwengu, who was the dissenting voice, agreed that Karan was denied a chance at a fair trial because he did not get the opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses who testified against him.

The two other judges held that Karan had received a fair trial.

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