Court rejects pre-trial scrutiny of Othaya votes

May 24, 2013 1:57 pm
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High Court judge Jairus Ngaah ruled that the application by King'ara was premature since the matter was at the pre-trial stage/FILE
High Court judge Jairus Ngaah ruled that the application by King’ara was premature since the matter was at the pre-trial stage/FILE
NYERI, Kenya, May 24 – The High Court in Nyeri has rejected an application by Othaya parliamentary loser Peter King’ara seeking an order for a scrutiny and recount of votes in some polling stations.

High Court judge Jairus Ngaah ruled that the application by King’ara was premature since the matter was at the pre-trial stage.

The judge said the issue of recount and scrutiny can be handled when the matter reaches the main hearing.

King’ara who has challenged the election of Mary Wambui had sought interim orders for recount and scrutiny of votes from the election and cross-referencing with IEBC documentation and the petitioner’s affidavits.

But lawyers Peter Munge for IEBC and Cecil Miller for Wambui dismissed King’ara’s claims and plea for a recount as insincere and not based on law.

The court has in the meantime taken custody of election materials that were recovered from a polling centre in Othaya during the March 4 General Election.

Justice Ngaah allowed King’ara to submit election seals to the court, saying they will be used as evidence during the petition.

Ngaah said that ordinarily, the law requires all exhibits to be used in a court matter to be secure and under custody of courts.

“The court will retain custody of the seals before and after the elections,” Justice Ngaah said.

Ngaah was ruling in the petition pre-trial, where King’ara has moved to court to challenge election of businesswoman Wambui as Othaya MP.

He dismissed claims by the respondents, that the petitioner committed a crime by keeping custody of the materials.

“The court will not be abetting a crime by taking custody of the materials,” he ruled.

But the judge declined to allow a scrutiny and recount of votes and production of Forms 33, 34 and 35 and a voter register, saying it has been overtaken by events.

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