, KISII, Kenya, Dec 5 – Justice Winfridah Okwany will deliver Judgement in the petition challenging the election of Kisii Senator Professor Samson Ongeri on February 5, 2018.
Justice Okwany said this after listening to the final submissions made by Senior Counsel Okong’o Omogeni who is representing Senator Ongeri, advocate Charles Rigoro who is representing the IEBC and Omwansa Ombati who is representing the petitioners Charles Orito and George Ogake.
In his submissions Senior Counsel Omogeni asked the court to strike out the petition with costs since the petitioners had failed to convince the court that the election of Ongeri was not conducted in a free, fair and accountable manner to warrant nullification.
“The burden of proof in this petition rests with the petitioners. The evidence presented in court should be convincing. At the beginning of this case the petitioner had told the court that he had concrete evidence to ensure that the election of my client would be nullified. However, that has not been proved to this court so far,” Omogeni told the court.
He added that claims by the petitioners that county employees had been employed as IEBC officials during the General Election had not been proved by the petitioner and that the will of the people of Kisii County to elect Ongeri as their Senator remains supreme.
Omogeni asked the court to compel the petitioners to pay Sh15 million cost for the petition if it is dismissed since it had proceeded to full hearing with all the three lead counsels in the case travelling from Nairobi to represent the clients in the petition held at the Kisii High Court.
Advocate Rigoro asked the court to strike out the petition since the first and second respondents in the case conducted the Kisii Senate election in a free, fair and accountable manner and that the errors that occurred in the process were minimal and did not warrant the nullification of the process.
Rigoro said that the errors that occurred were transpositional in nature occasioned by data entry clerks and did not affect the election of Professor Ongeri as the Kisii Senator since he won with a margin of more than 64,000 votes compared to his closest challenger.
“Errors are human in nature especially when someone is working under a very tight schedule, the first and second respondent conducted the senate election in Kisii County according to the law, the election was free, fair and peaceful,” Rigoro told the court.
Advocate Ombati asked the court to nullify the election of Professor Ongeri as the Kisii Senator since the first and second respondent conducted the election in contravention of the constitution with the costs of the case catered for by the first and second respondent respectively.
In the petition, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Kisii County Returning Officer and Senator Samson Ongeri have been listed as the first, second and third respondents respectively.