Former Kisumu governor Jack Ranguma has asked the court to order an audit and recount of all votes cast for the governor’s seat in the August 8 General Election.
In his application in a case in which he is contesting the election of Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o, Mr Ranguma argued that massive electoral malpractices were committed by the electoral commission and Prof Nyong’o to doctor the final results.
Through his lawyer Richard Onsongo, Mr Ranguma insisted that the polls were not free, fair, credible and transparent.
“There was tampering with ballot boxes,” Mr Onsongo told the High Court sitting in Kisumu. “My agents were kicked out of polling stations and some Forms 37A were not signed by the presiding officers of various polling stations.”
He added: “The electoral process was adulterated to favour the third respondent (Prof Nyong’o).”
However, defence lawyers queried the authenticity of testimonies by the petitioner’s witnesses.
Through his lawyer, senior counsel James Orengo, Prof Nyong’o asked Justice David Majanja to dismiss the application saying it lacks merit, terming it a “fishing expedition” by the petitioner.
Mr Orengo, who is also the Siaya senator, said there was nothing tabled before the court to prove claims by Mr Levy Otieno Oduor.
On Wednesday, the information and communication technology expert, who claims to be an employee of Safaricom, stunned the court when he said he hacked the IEBC server and found that the commission aided Prof Nyong’o in rigging the elections.
Mr Orengo said that, in his affidavits, the petitioner failed to link any of the 1,027 polling stations in the county to electoral malpractices.
Elsewhere, the hearing of a petition challenging the election of Vihiga Governor Wilbur Ottichilo was put off after the petitioner and his lawyer failed to show up at the Kakamega High Court.
Justice Ruth Sitati allowed an application for the hearing to be adjourned to Friday but warned that the court would not entertain any further delays in the matter.
Meanwhile, the High Court sitting in Embu has dismissed an application by Governor Martin Wambora to strike off a petition lodged by former senator Lenny Kivuti challenging his election.
Justice William Musyoka ruled that the application was defective as the documents in its support were filed irregularly.
He also ruled that Justice Florence Muchemi had the jurisdiction to issue orders allowing Mr Kivuti to secure ballot materials used in the August 8 elections.
Making the ruling in a tense, packed courtroom, Justice Musyoka dismissed allegations by Mr Wambora that the integrity of the ballot materials was in question after Mr Kivuti allegedly tampered with them during securing.
Elsewhere, former Laikipia governor Joshua Irungu has formally applied to be enjoined in a case in which the election of his successor, Mr Ndiritu Muriithi, is being challenged by a voter. Mr Irungu was not personally in court on Thursday and filed his application through lawyer Paul Amuga.
Justice Mary Kasango will give a ruling on the matter on November 20, two days before the start of the petition hearing.
At the Coast, Changamwe MP Omar Mwinyi appeared at Mombasa High Court on Thursday and pledged to stick with his lawyer in an election petition against him.
Justice Njoki Mwangi had on Wednesday summoned Mr Mwinyi after Balala and Obed Advocates applied to withdraw from the case citing non-payment of legal fees.
The firm, through lawyer Mohamed Ali Mohamed, told Justice Mwangi that the lawmaker was playing a hide-and-seek game with them despite representing him throughout the proceedings.
However, Mr Mwinyi’s frantic efforts yielded fruit after the law firm agreed to continue to represent him and at the same time withdrew from the court an affidavit to withdraw from the case.
A former nominated councillor, Mr Mahmoud Mohamed Ali, is seeking to overturn Mr Mwinyi’s victory in the August 8 elections.
In the Ranguma-Nyong’o case, another witness was briefly detained at the court for addressing a lady lawyer as “my dear”. Justice David Majanja found the comments offensive.
Mr Yusuf Masud, who was testifying for Mr Ranguma, failed to apologise and the judge ordered court orderlies to detain him.
“I do not know what I have done wrong to apologise,” said Mr Masud, who was, however, released after about 30 minutes and made to apologise to the lawyer before carrying on with testifying.
Justice Majanja asked the lawyers to enlighten their witnesses on the right language to use in court and warned the public against using demeaning language on women.
Reports by Mwangi Ndirangu, Charles Wanyoro, Galgalo Bocha