The High in Kisii yesterday dismissed an election petition challenging the victory of Jimmy Angwenyi as Kitutu Chache North MP.
The court ordered petitioner Robert Ndemo to pay the respondents Sh2 million. Justice Hellen Omondi said, Angwenyi, who Ndemo listed as the first respondent, will receive Sh1 million, while returning officer Eunice Chelangat and the IEBC will share the rest.
She exonerated Angwenyi from bribery, intimidation and inducement of voters alleged by the petitioner.
Omondi said the burden of proof lay with the petitioner. “The petitioner failed to prove allegations that the first respondent indeed intimidated, induced or bribed voters. He did not produce any witness before this court to adduce evidence on the same,” she said in her one-and-half hour ruling.
Ndemo filed the petition on grounds that the August polls were not conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner. He said there were inconsistencies in Form 35A.
Omondi said she noted a few transposition errors in statutory forms, but they would not change the final outcome. She said the margin between Angwenyi and the fist runners-up was too huge and mistakes that might have happened during the voting and transmission of results were human.
Angwenyi of Jubilee got 16,121 votes in the August 8 election, while Migos Ogamba of ODM came in second with 6,786 votes. Ogamba said his agents were locked out of polling stations.
Ndemo had urged the court to allow a recheck of votes cast and announced in every polling station to establish his claims. He said statutory forms obtained from the commission's public portal differed materially from the hard copies supplied by the IEBC.
He said some Forms 35As lacked IEBC stamps as required by law, while other had no serial numbers.
Omondi said Demo's petition was not complex nor was it protracted or fraught with multiple emotions and draining applications. She said the nature of evidence and submissions were straightforward.
“I make declaration that the election ... was conducted in accordance with the Constitution and laws of Kenya and was free and fair. The declared results reflected the will of the people of Kitutu Chache North,” she ruled.