Court dismisses with costs petitions against two Kilifi MPs
The High Court has struck out two petitions challenging the election of two Kilifi legislators and ordered each petitioner to pay Sh2.5 million.
Justice Patrick Otieno sitting in Malindi said the petitions against Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo and Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire were defective and do not require further scrutiny on whether to be supported by evidence.
The judge said the petition by Mr Mbaraka Issa Kombe against Mr Mwambire failed to give detailed results and the date of declaration which were mandatory as bound in the Court of Appeal decision in John Mututho vs Jayne Kihara case.
“Most importantly, even if they do not disclose the full results, the date of declaration must be included to enable court compute the time for filing the petition and when to end the case,” he added.
Justice Otieno directed Mr Kombe to pay Sh1,250,000 to the IEBC returning officer and another Sh1,250,000 to the Ganze MP.
Mr Kombe, a member of the Jubilee Party (JP) and supporter of former Ganze MP Peter Shehe who lost the election to Mr Mwambire, had urged the court to dismiss the application saying it lacked factual foundation.
Lawyers Dennis Ben Mosota and Auko Otieno representing Mr Mwambire had argued the exclusion of date and results itself as declared has rendered the petition defective.
In the second case, Justice Otieno also struck out a petition by Mr Jacob Thoya Iha challenging Senator Madzayo’s election saying it was not validly filed before the deputy registrar.
“In this case, I do not entertain an iota of doubt that the election court as defined does not include the registrar and has no powers to allow parties exchange documents in a manner tantamount to an amendment,” he said.
The judge said the parties’ action of misleading a young judicial officer cannot be an excuse for them to get reward in their actions.
“The petitioner having confirmed to have had a scuffle with his advocate and facilitated the supplanting of the impugned document is a mischief the court has been called upon to correct,” he said.
Justice Otieno also noted that the petitioner’s advocate, Mr Gatundu, was drunk and differed with his client to the extent that he ran away from him during the filing of the petition.
The judge struck out the petition and then ordered the petitioner to pay Mr Madzayo Sh1,250,000 and another Sh1,250,000 to the county returning officer Nelly Illongo.
Speaking to journallists outside the Malindi Law Courts, Both Mr Madzayo and Mr Mwambire who were accompanied by a group of their supporters urged residents to stop being used by politicians to battle opponents.
“Today, the petitioners who are residents of Ganze and Magarini have been told to pay a cost of Sh2.5 million each by the court of law,” he said.
“Some of the residents have deposited their land title deeds and it is so sad,” he added.