Hassan Omar wants judge to disqualify herself over 'bias'

Monday January 8 2018

Lydia Achode.

Justice Lydia Achode on November 30, 2017 during the hearing of a petition filed by former Mombasa senator Hassan Omar challenging Governor Hassan Joho's victory. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PHILIP MUYANGA
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Former Mombasa senator Hassan Omar wants a judge to disqualify herself from hearing his petition challenging the election of Governor Hassan Joho.

He claimed that Justice Lydia Achode is biased.

‘BIAS’

Through lawyer Yusuf Aboubakar, Mr Omar said he wants Justice Achode to take the file to the Chief Justice to appoint another judge to hear the petition.

Mr Omar said the judge has displayed double standards by accepting to hear and grant applications by Mr Joho and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, while dismissing those he has filed.

“The presiding judge has given open latitude to the respondents’ advocates when cross-examining the petitioners and their witnesses but restricted the petitioner’s advocates when cross-examining the respondents and their witnesses,” said Mr Omar.

The former senator argues that Justice Achode has demonstrated in court that she would not grant his application for scrutiny even before it is heard on the basis of witnesses’ evidence on record.

PETITION

In the petition Mr Omar and his running mate Ms Linda Shuma are challenging the election of Mr Joho and want the court to declare that there were massive irregularities.

The former senator said Justice Achode has not acted in the interest of justice, has acted outside the law and has been biased.

During the hearing of the petition, the court heard that some Forms 37B used for tallying results for the election of Mombasa governor were not signed by the IEBC county returning officer.

Mombasa county retuning officer Nancy Wanjiku Kariuki also admitted that some of the forms did not contain names of the constituency tallying centres.

Ms Kariuki, who was being cross examined by Mr Aboubakar, also admitted that in Nyali Constituency a section for agents or candidates on the form was not signed.

She further told Justice Achode that some forms did not have aggregate results and the voter turnout section.

VIOLATIONS

The petitioners are also seeking a declaration that IEBC and Ms Kariuki’s declaration of Mr Joho as elected governor was invalid, null and void.

They argue that the petition is grounded on violations of the provisions of the Constitution, statutes and regulations relating to the conduct of elections.

The petitioners also want the court to declare that non-compliance, irregularities and improprieties in the election were substantial and affected the results.

Mr Omar also wants the court to order the IEBC to conduct a fresh election for the governor in strict compliance with the provisions of the Constitution, the Elections Act and regulations.

The application will be heard on January 11.