Court dismisses petition challenging Governor Ottichilo win

Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo (middle) celebrates outside the court after case challenging his August 8 win was dismissed. [Photo by Duncan Ocholla/Standard]

Kakamega High Court has dismissed a petition challenging the victory of Vihiga Governor Wilbur Ottichilo citing insufficient evidence.

A voter, Hamza Musuri Kevogo moved to court to challenge Dr. Ottichilo's win in August 8 elections on grounds that his election was marred with massive irregularities and illegalities.

The petitioner argued in court that the governor influenced the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials to favor him.

In her ruling, Judge Ruth Sitati said the petitioner failed to prove his allegations beyond reasonable doubt, instead he made wild and general claims that he (petitioner) could not substantiate.

“The prayers sought by the petitioner are hereby dismissed due to lack of sufficient evidence. The burden of proof lied on the petitioner and he failed to discharge it to satisfy this court,” ruled Sitati.

The court dismissed the case with costs meaning the petitioner will have to part with six million for each party involved in the case bringing to six million.

“The third respondent was validly elected and his certificate was issued in accordance with law. The elections for Vihiga gubernatorial race was held as per the law and it is hereby upheld. The petitioner should bear the costs,” she said.

Justice Sitati said the petitioner could not prove beyond reasonable doubt that the 3rd respondent, Dr. Ottichilo influenced the 1st respondent (IEBC) and the 2nd respondent (Vihiga County Returning Officer Sarah Ogaro) to rig elections in his favor.

More to follow.