Netto to appeal disqualification from Rarieda MP seat race

Businessman Augustine Netto Adhola, who was on Tuesday disqualified by the electoral body from vying for the Rarieda parliamentary seat is blaming his rival for his woes even as he seeks to appeal the unprecedented decision.

In an interview with the Nation on Wednesday, Mr Adhola claimed his rival Dr Otiende Amollo of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) was working through proxies to stop him.

“I am going to appeal the verdict and expect me on the ballot. This is purely the work of my competitor in ODM. He does not want to contest against me,” he said

He accused Dr Amollo, the former chairman of the Commission on Administrative Justice, of “obtaining his ODM certificate through the backdoor” and has promised to appeal the decision amid a tight legal provision.

He said he will file the appeal both at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the High Court.

Mr Adhola had in fact challenged the IEBC decision to fine him Sh250, 000 fine, but the court agreed with the commission’s verdict.

But Dr Amollo laughed off Mr Adhola’s claims saying he was not the petitioner in his case.

“If I wanted to petition I would have done so in my individual capacity. Secondly, am not the IEBC neither do I control it. However, the High court equally found him guilty of electoral misconduct and upheld the IEBC ruling. So he has himself to blame for failing to pay the fine,” said Dr Amollo.

He went on: “He is my friend if at all he was broke he could have requested me to help him pay the fine because I beat him by more than 4,600 votes in ODM primaries and still confident of beating him on August 8.”

The case against Mr Adhola had been filed by Erick Onyango, a voter in Rarieda Constituency, Siaya County, before the IEBC’s Electoral Code of Conduct Enforcement Committee.

On June 22, IEBC ordered him to pay a Sh250, 000 fine within 48 hours and remove all posters and campaign materials bearing ODM colours and images of party leader Raila Odinga or he would be disqualified.

On Wednesday, Mr Adhola insisted that he was at liberty to appeal the IEBC verdict, and failure to pay the fine because “I felt the charges against me were trumped up.”

“I really wonder why somebody who has an ODM certificate should fight me over the image of Raila while they are being used all over. Why is it only an issue in Rarieda?” he posed.

He told his supporters to expect him on the ballot.

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