Nyong’o it is! Court throws out Ranguma poll petition

Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o can now breathe easy after Kisumu High Court dismissed a petition challenging his election victory. Justice David Majanja struck out a petition filed by former Governor Jack Ranguma for failing to prove his case against three respondents in the case; Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Nyong’o and Kisumu County Returning Officer John Cox Lorionokou. Ranguma was also slapped with a Sh5 million bill as the cost of the petition. The former county boss filed the petition on September 6.

In his plea, the former governor wanted the court to overturn Nyong’o’s victory on grounds that the August 8 election for Kisumu governor’s seat was not conducted within the law. He had argued that the election was marred by massive malpractices and irregularities.

But while delivering the ruling yesterday, Majanja said it was unfounded, as the petitioner could not sufficiently support all the allegations before the court on the election result. “The totality of the findings I have made is that the petition cannot stand before this court because the petitioner failed to prove his case against the respondents,” said Majanja.

The judge said there was insufficient evidence to back the petitioner’s allegations of voter bribery, irregularities in transmission of results, failure of operational transparency and lack of impartiality, accuracy and accountability while conducting the gubernatorial elections by the IEBC.

“I find the allegations tabled before this court as vague and embarrassing thus cannot amount to interference or manipulation of the gubernatorial election results,” he said, adding that substantial instances in the petition were not proved to support the invalidation of the election.

Reacting to the verdict, Ranguma expressed displeasure with the ruling, maintaining that he was rigged out. He said he is contemplating appealing the decision after consulting his lawyers. “We heard the outcome of the case, but we still have an opportunity to evaluate it before I can decide what next,” he said.

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