Obado to know fate on ODM membership on Thursday

The Political Parties Disputes Tribunal will on Thursday rule on whether Migori governor Okoth Obado is a valid member of the Orange Democratic Movement party.

The directive was issued by the tribunal after a hearing in a case in which an ODM member as well as Migori voter sued the party and the governor over his defection from People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Mr George Odede claims that ODM has failed to stop Mr Obado from engaging in their party affairs before formally giving notice of his defection from the party which he was elected on, applying to join another and being admitted into it.

Through lawyer Chrispin Odhiambo, he faults Mr Obado of violating the Political Parties Act for failing to formally give a notice of defection from the party in which he was elected on as a governor.

He argues that ODM might continue to have him participate in their party activities including the party nominations for the forth coming elections set for August 8 contrary to the Political parties Act, Elections Act and the Constitution.

He further argues that there have been serious integrity questions raised against Mr Obado which the constitution bars ODM from admitting him as its member until such has been determined conclusively.

But despite the allegations, ODM has strongly defended Mr Obado saying that he satisfactorily met all conditions set out as well as relevant national legislation before joining them.

Through lawyer Samuel Makori, ODM also said that the allegations levelled against the Migori governor are merely speculative and that he has not violated any law by defecting.

“Any approach that ODM party employs is done with the intent to not only protect the interests of the party but also that of legitimate members and aspirants for the Migori gubernatorial seat, the claim that he belongs to LDP must fail,” Mr Makori said.

According to Mr Obado who defected to ODM last year, while responding to the case against him, said that the tribunal lacks the jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter.

While ODM wants the suit before the tribunal dismissed, Mr Odede wants it declared that Mr Obado is not a member of the party and that his continued association with it is illegal.

He also wants Mr Obado’s seat to be declared vacant if he has indeed resigned from PDP but ODM insists that it will take into consideration vetting him if he aspires to contest as an ODM candidate.

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