Waiguru wants Karua’s quest for 3-judge bench thrown out

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru wants the High Court to throw out an application by Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua seeking that her petition be heard by a three-judge bench.

Ms Waiguru Monday argued that the application lacked merit and urged the Kerugoya High Court to dismiss it with costs.

Through lawyers, Paul Nyamondi, Kamotho Waiganjo and Andrew Muchigi, the governor submitted that the petition was not of immense public interest and that it was not necessary to set up a bench to hear it.

She also argued that the matter was not a complex one and it should be handled and determined by a single Judge.

“This is an ordinary petition that can be heard and concluded in one week and it does not warrant the formation of a three judge bench,” said Mr Nyamondi.

WEIGHTY QUESTIONS

The defence lawyers submitted that the petitioner failed to prove that the matter raised weighty questions of law and it should be disregarded.

But Ms Karua through her lawyer Gitobu Imanyara insisted that the petition raised substantial questions of law and required more than one Judge to hear it.

“The matter is of big magnitude and that is why we have applied that the High Court refers it to the Chief Justice David Maraga so that he can constitute a bench. This is not a simple matter,” argued Mr Imanyara.

Lady Justice, Lucy Gitari directed that the hearing be adjourned until September 28 when she will deliver the ruling on the application by the respondent.

TENSION

Earlier tension mounted at the Court when Ms Waiguru’s supporters demonstrated demanding that Ms Karua withdraws the petition with immediate effect.

Accompanied by thirty-three members of the Kirinyaga County Assembly, the residents said they were unhappy with Ms Karua’s move.

Police cocked their guns and locked the gate as the demonstrators who were chanting anti-Karua slogans attempted to force their way into the Court.

In her petition, Ms Karua argues that Ms Waiguru was not validly elected as the county boss and her election should be declared null and void.

IRREGULARITIES

She also argued that like the Kirinyaga gubernatorial polls all other elections for ward representatives, MPS, senators and woman representatives which were held on August 8 were marked with irregularities and should be nullified and fresh ones ordered.

“The three judge bench is better placed to hear a case of this magnitude,” said Ms Karua.

Ms Karua noted that the Supreme Court nullified the presidential elections and its decision should apply to all other polls.

“The Supreme Court as a matter of law found there were irregularities in the presidential elections and cancelled them. Therefore we want this determination to apply to all other elections,” said Mr Imanyara.

NOT CREDIBLE

He added: “It was as if there were no elections at all and the lower court is not open to depart from the Supreme Court decision. The Supreme Court set a precedent and the lower courts should follow suit.”

Ms Karua said that the governorship poll was not credible, free and fair since there was cheating and intimidation of voters.

Further, Ms Karua said voter bribery was rife while her agents were locked out of the polling stations.

She observed that tampering with ballot boxes and forgery of ballot papers were widespread during the August 8 polls.

During the polls, Ms Waiguru garnered 161,373 votes while Ms Karua got 122,091.

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