Drama erupted at the Mombasa law Court after lawyers representing the parties in a petition on the governorship race clashed last evening over an application seeking to disqualify a judge. Arguably, former Mombasa senator Hassan Omar wanted Justice Lydia Achode to disqualify herself from hearing the case against the election of Governor Hassan Ali Joho on the August 8 general elections. But Justice Achode declared that after 30 years on the bench, she would not allow lawyers to bully her.
Additionally, the lawyers for Mr Joho and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission questioned Mr Omar’s conduct who alleged that the judge was biased against him, but Joho’s lawyers accused him of holding a grudge against the judge.
On the same note, Joho’s lawyers also alleged that Omar was bitter after losing in the August 8 polls and was now trying to find an excuse for the disbanding of a petition they described as incompetent. However, to the former senator it was justifiable if Joho’s victory overturned, claiming it was a fraud.
The clash became imminent when Omar’s lawyer, Yusuf Abubakar, requested Justice Achode that although it was disheartening to tell judges to disqualify themselves from a case, he had no choice but to tell her so since it was what his client asked for; adding that Omar got offended when the judge rejected his appeal to have a look into the votes and that whenever the other parties made an application, it was accepted. “We wanted to question the academic background of the governor but our plea was reject. That was a demonstration of bias,” said Abubakar.
Contrarily, Joho’s lawyer Mohamed Balala, shunned Omar’s application for the judge to disqualify herself as ‘desperation’, saying he feared that his case could be dismissed since it had no evidence to support his allegations.
Consequently, in her ruling, the judge said she would not be intimidated or influenced from doing the right thing by sideshow applications pointing at Omar’s Lawyers.
Hassan Omar filed the petition after Governor Joho won massively and him (Omar ) coming third; he alleged that the election was rigged thus robbed his imminent victory.