Ex-MP Paul Otuoma ‘might have campaigned illegally’

Tuesday December 19 2017

Former Funyula MP Paul Otuoma

Former Funyula MP Paul Otuoma in court during a case challenging the re-election of Governor Sospeter Ojaamong on December 19, 2017. PHOTO | GAITANO PESSA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By GAITANO PESSA
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Former Funyula MP Paul Otuoma might have held an illegal campaign rally for the Busia governorship race leading to violence, a court heard yesterday.

During cross-examination before Busia High Court Judge Kiarie Waweru, Dr Otuoma was asked to explain why he changed his programme on August 4, from his Funyula rally where he was scheduled, and proceeded to Bulemia where his supporters clashed with those of Mr Sospeter Ojaamong. A Member of the County Assembly was injured.

IRREGULARITIES

But the former legislator, who lost the race to Mr Ojaamong, said he went to Bulemia after winding up his rally in Funyula.

In the case, voter Peter Odima is challenging the victory of Mr Ojaamong, alleging irregularities and voter influence.

Dr Otuoma’s and Mr Ojaamong’s campaigns were among the dirtiest in the region.  The two had vied for the ODM ticket in the primaries but fake news was published alleging that Dr Otuoma had decamped to Jubilee on the day of the nominations.

The results of the chaotic nominations forced the party to announce a repeat exercise. But Dr Otuoma rejected this, saying the results would still be predetermined.

VOTE RECOUNT

And in Eldoret, the High Court has ordered the scrutiny and recount of votes from 11 polling stations.

Judge George Kimondo made the ruling on an application challenging the election of Dr Michael Mbito as Senator of Trans Nzoia county.

Petitioner Henry ole Ndiema had asked the court to order a scrutiny and recount of votes from all polling stations.

He further asked the court for access to election materials, equipment and statutory forms, but the judge disallowed the request.

Meanwhile, the High Court will rule in early January whether to order the investigation of a senior Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission official for amending Mombasa gubernatorial election results in Changamwe constituency.

This is after lawyer Gikandi Ngibuini applied to Justice Njoki Mwangi to order the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to investigate Mrs Aisha Abubakar, who testified that she amended Form 37B to change the total valid votes cast for governor from 41,893 to 52,840.

Additional reporting by Gerald Bwisa