Two judges quit poll petition over links with Karua

July 24, 2018 1:39 pm
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Karua moved to the Court of Appeal to challenge the High Court’s decision to dismiss her petition against Waiguru’s 2017 victory/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 24 – Court of Appeal Judges Fatuma Sichale and Sankale ole Kantai have recused themselves from an appeal by Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua citing close ties with her.

The judges told parties in the appeal that they will not be free to hear the appeal which was lodged after the dismissal of Karua’s election petition against Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru in the High Court.

The disqualification of the two judges means that the file has to be taken back to the President of the Court of Appeal to appoint another bench excluding the two.

Karua moved to the Court of Appeal to challenge the High Court’s decision to dismiss her petition against Waiguru’s 2017 victory.

The Narc Kenya leader and her running mate in 2017 polls Joseph Gitari indicated in their notice of appeal that they intend to challenge the entire judgment delivered by Justice Lucy Gitari last month at the Kerugoya High Court.

“The appellant, Martha Karua, being dissatisfied with the judgement/order of Justice Gitari intend to appeal to the Court of Appeal of Kenya against the whole of the said judgment,” her advocate stated in the notice.

Following the verdict, Karua had told her supporters that the battle was not over, and she would challenge the ruling at the second highest court in the country.

She alleged that she was unfairly defeated, claiming that the election was marred by cases of voter bribery at polling stations and that her agents were barred from accessing the polling stations.

In the disputed poll results, Waiguru garnered 161,373 votes while Karua got 122,091 votes.

The petition was first dismissed in November last year on legal technicalities, but she appealed the decision and the judges ordered a retrial.

The judge dismissed Karua’s claims that the governorship election was marred by cheating, intimidations, use of unauthorised persons in polling stations and forgery of ballot papers.

The court heard that there was breach of mandatory statutory and constitutional requirements in voting, counting, tallying and transmission of votes across the county.

Justice Gitari, in her ruling, said that Karua failed to prove the allegations.

The judge also threw out claims that the gubernatorial election in Kirinyaga was not free, fair and verifiable due to the irregularities and malpractices which worked in favour of Waiguru.

Justice Gitari also declined to order for a fresh election and ruled that Waiguru was validly elected.

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