High noon for Homa Bay as courts delivers to key rulings

Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti. [Boniface Okendo/Standard]
Anxiety has gripped the county ahead of rulings on the fate of Governor Cyprian Awiti and impeached county assembly Speaker Elizabeth Ayoo.

The ruling by the Supreme Court will determine whether Awiti will continue to serve as governor or the county will go into a by-election.

Awiti rushed to the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeal in Kisumu upheld a High Court decision that nullified his re-election.

This followed a petition by his rival, former Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga, and his running mate in the 2017 General Election Joshua Orero.

Meanwhile, the Labour Relations Court in Kisumu will also be deciding Ayoo's fate after she was impeached last year.

In Kisumu, Speaker Ayoo who was impeached by MCAs last year will also be hoping to have the court save her job.

Ayoo has sued the county assembly as well as the Assembly Public Service Board. She has listed 17 grounds in her attempt to get her job back.

Ayoo had told Justice Nduma Nderi she was not served with a notice of her removal and was also not given a chance to defend herself. She said a debate on her removal violated the constitution.

Supporters of Awiti and Magwanga's are holding their breaths hoping their candidates will get a favourable judgement.

Hundreds of supporters travelled to Nairobi in hired buses yesterday to witness the ruling.

Awiti, who has not been in office for almost five months after an eye operation, lined up a battery of lawyers, led by senior counsel Tom Ojienda, James Orengo and Otiende Amollo, as he fought to overturn the lower court's decision to annul his win.

Ojienda told Chief Justice David Maraga, justices Mohamed Ibrahim, JB Ojwang, Smokin Wanjala, Njoki Ndung'u and Isaac Lenaola the lower court, which nullified Awiti's election, failed to consider key evidence.

The evidence, he said, included scrutiny and a recount of votes which showed he defeated Magwanga.

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Governor Cyprian AwitiSpeaker Elizabeth Ayooformer Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga