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Reprieve for MP Olago Aluoch as court upholds his election

NYANZA
By MAUREEN ODIWUOR | February 22nd 2014

By MAUREEN ODIWUOR

Kisumu, Kenya: An Appellate Court in Kisumu has upheld the election of Kisumu West MP Olago Aluoch following a case filed by his key rival Rosa Buyu.

In a judgment issued by Justices Daniel Musinga, Festus Azangalala and Sankai ole Kantai, Ms Buyu’s petition was dismissed for lacking merit.

In the case, Buyu was the appellant, while Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and its returning officer were the first and second respondents. Mr Olago was the third respondent.

They said they considered grounds of appeal relating to alleged malpractices in the conduct of the elections and the standard of proof required to establish the same and concluded that Buyu did not prove that there were irregularities.

“The appellant did not prove to the required standard that there were anomalies or irregularities in conduct of the election that affected the results as would void the same,” they said.

Buyu was also slapped with costs of the petition of Sh1.5 million.

“We have considered the positions taken by the respective parties… the only issue left is determination which respondent was awarded costs and it would appear to us that the first and second respondent, on one hand and the third respondent on the other were respectively awarded costs not exceeding Sh1.5million,” read Justice Ole kantai.

Cost was one of the contentious issues since Justice Hillary Chemitei in his judgment awarded costs to unspecified respondent.

The judges noted that despite Chemitei discrediting Olago for not allegedly denying claims of threats and intimidation by Buyu, saying it would have been difficult to reach such a conclusion that any of the respondents were involved.

Another issue concerned whether proper service of the petition was done by Buyu or if the procedure was against the law.

In the High Court Judgment, Chemitei said it was not done according to law and should be termed as an irregularity, though it could not be termed as a ground to nullify the petition.

The three judges concluded that Chemitei was wrong and had misdirected himself on the law applicable.

Meanwhile, Butula MP Michael Aringo retained his seat when the High Court upheld his election.

Justices Onyango Otieno, Azangalala and Kantai dismissed a case filed by Phillip Osore.

They agreed with the decision of Busia High Court judge Francis Tuiyot that the elections were conducted, managed and supervised substantially in compliance with the Constitution principles.

 


 

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