Orengo, Gumbo in battle of wits over Rasanga re-election

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Siaya Senator and lawyer James Orengo walks out of the High Court with co-counsel Dismas Wakla following proceedings on Governor Cornel Rasanga's re-election, November 1, 2017. /LAMECK BARAZA

Senior counsel James Orengo engaged former Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo in a battle of wits during cross examination at the Siaya High Court on Thursday.

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Orengo appeared as the lead lawyer in a case challenging Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga’s re-election.

The Senator poked holes into an expert document produced by Gumbo, detailing irregularities Rasanga and IEBC officials allegedly committed before, during and after the August 8 elections.

Gumbo submitted the document by James Mandegu to support his petition on irregularities and illegalities that reportedly saw Rasanga re-elected.

Citing “glaring errors” in the submission, Orengo claimed the expert did not have enough experience to handle such a case.

“In this case, I think you ought to have engaged the services of a forensic expert, not just anybody,” he said.

Orengo warned Gumbo against plagiarism in a “clear cut and paste fashion”, noting such documents should be original.

“You risk committing plagiarism and you know the consequences that come with it,” he said, noting the law is different from the engineering the witness practices.

Orengo, who is representing IEBC and county returning officer Ruth Khulundu, further claimed the expert document could not be relied on to prove the case because of “glaring anomalies”.

He said election materials at the 51 polls in Alego/Usonga and Rarieda had “glaring alterations, mismatch of numbers and a myriad of irregularities”.

 

“If your own expert’s document has open anomalies, how can we use it to make an informed decision in this case?” he asked.

“If somebody is proclaimed to be sick, one has to seek the services of a qualified doctor to confirm the ailment, not any other person.”

The Senator further said Mandegu’s CV clearly demonstrated he had never handled such a matter in court and that he had only been to a “myriad of seminars”.

But Gumbo said he did not needed the services of a forensic expert and that any qualified person with knowledge of statistics can handle the matter.

The politician who lost the August election, denied the claims against the expert but pleaded with the court to let him defend himself.

“Statistics is statistics and variance is variance. Anybody who has done mathematics and statistics can see that. We need not to seek the services of a forensic expert,” he said.

The politician was cross-examined before justice Esther Maina and sought orders for the votes to be recounted.

Gumbo said the errors were minimal and that the document captured everything in the petition.

Members of the public who were in the courtroom said the session was aimed at settling of political scores.

Before the election, Orengo backed Rasanga’s and accused Gumbo of being a Jubilee Party mole.

The case will continue on Friday with the cross-examination of witnesses.

Source link-the-star.co.ke

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