ODM official faults direct ticket method

Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero casts his vote at Asumbi Mixed Primary School polling station on August 9, 2022. [James Omoro, Standard]

An ODM party official Saturday told a court that his party abused the principles of democracy by failing to conduct nominations ahead of the last General Election.

He was testifying during the hearing of a petition filed by former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero to challenge the election of Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga.

In the petition, Kidero has also sued IEBC, Homa Bay County Returning Officer Fredrick Apopa, Deputy Governor Oyugi Magwanga and ODM party.

Ogina Nyabola, the chairman of ODM in Ndhiwa branch, told the court that ODM failed to honour the word democracy, which forms part of its identity. 

In the nomination, Wanga was handed a direct ticket to fly the party's ticket.

Testifying before Justice Roselyne Aburili, Nyabola opposed his party position on the nomination method and claimed it was undemocratic.

“The people of Ndhiwa wanted to participate in the party nomination through universal suffrage but ODM conducted the exercise contrarily. I was annoyed by ODM because it subverted the will of the people of Ndhiwa Constituency who elected me to be their chairman in the party,” he said.

He also accused the party of making the decision after receiving nomination fees from more than five aspirants who were vying for the seat.

“My party received nomination fees from aspirants who were vying for the seat but it failed to conduct nomination through universal suffrage. This was wrong,” Nyabola said.

Wanga’s and Magwanga’s lawyers Fredrick Orego and Jackson Awele and ODM’s lawyer Godrick Okello put Nyabola to task to explain if his grievances were not motivated by his personal hatred against Governor Wanga.

They challenged Nyabola on grounds that being a long time chairman of ODM, he ought to have been aware that ODM's Constitution provides for direct tickets.  

“Being a long serving ODM chairman, are you aware that ODM has the discretion to issue a direct ticket to candidate during nomination?” Orego asked.

Orego asked Nyabola to explain if he was testifying in the case because of his personal differences with Wanga.

“Are you testifying because as a person hate Wanga on personal grounds. And suppose Dr Kidero was given the ticket would you have complained?” Orego posed.

But Nyabola said it is because ODM contravened rights of the people.