Omogeni takes battle for ODM ticket to court

Former Law Society of Kenya (LSK) chairperson Erick Okong’o Omogeni has moved to court to challenge the electoral board tribunal’s decision to award his rival the ODM ticket for the Nyamira senator’s seat.

Mr Omogeni is seeking to overturn the decision to give Abuya Abuya the ticket to contest for the seat in the March 4 General Election.

He claims that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Disputes Resolution Tribunal acted above its mandate to cancel a certificate that he had legally attained without giving him a hearing.

In another case, the candidature of the ODM nominee for Mombasa governor, Ali Hassan Joho, and deputy governor nominee Hazel Katana is being challenged on the grounds of their academic qualifications.

The petitioner, Janet Ekumbo Mbete, who claims to have served as an ODM nominated councillor between 2008 and 2013, says she has proof that the two do not have a first degree as required by law.

Mr Justice David Majanja certified the two cases as urgent and directed parties to be served and the matter mentioned this morning.

Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has directed judges to give priority to cases touching on elections directly or indirectly.

Mr Omogeni claims that he was never served with the papers challenging his nomination and only heard of the ruling against him through the media, which violated his right under Article 50 (1) of the Constitution.

He also questions the impartiality of the tribunal on the grounds that one of its members, Betty Nyabuto, was disciplined by the LSK when he was chairman.

The panel has five members including the chairman Thomas Letangule, Yusuf Nzibo, Mohammed Alawi and Kule Galma Godhana.

“IEBC committee decision is invalid as it was biased having included Betty who was removed as the CEO of LSK during my term as the chairman. She has never forgiven me,” he says in an affidavit.