CJ Koome names judge to hear Tony Gachoka's 'poll petition'

High Court judge Eric Ogolla. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Chief Justice Martha Koome has appointed High Court judge Eric Ogolla to hear a petition by journalist Tony Gachoka challenging his omission from those nominated to the National Assembly.

The CJ appointed Justice Ogolla after the High Court certified Gachoka's application as an election petition that should be heard and determined within the six months timeline.

The court also directed Gachoka to deposit Sh500,000 as security to enable the dispute be gazetted as an election petition as provided under the Elections Act.

The journalist is pushing to be nominated as an MP to represent people living with disabilities, arguing that the National Rainbow Coalition under the Azimio la Umoja Coalition illegally omitted his name from the list presented to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

Gachoka stated that after he resigned from the Orange Democratic Party (ODM) and joined NARC, the party leader Charity Ngilu assured him that he will be on top of the nominations list to represent people living with disabilities in Parliament but was shocked when he was not nominated.

“I have justified reasons to believe that there was a malicious intent to shut me out of the party list which was a violation of my constitutional right. As a person living with disability, I had a legitimate expectation to be number one on the nomination list,” said Gachoka.

He argued that other affiliate parties of Azimio la Umoja have all nominated candidates to Parliament without considering people living with disabilities which is contrary to Article 97 of the Constitution on the representation of marginalised groups.