Inside Politics

Hearing of case challenging Ntutu’s win in Narok governor seat race postponed

Monday, November 7th, 2022 13:29 | By
Kipsigis vote key in deciding who Narok's next governor will be
A collage of Moitalel ole Kenta (right) and Narok Governor Patrick ole Ntutu. PHOTO/Courtesy

Narok High Court has postponed the hearing on an election petition challenging Governor Patrick Ole Ntutu's win in the August 9 polls.

The decision to postpone the hearing for seven days was arrived at after the parties requested the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to provide certified copies of printouts from SD card bearing logs of voters and the manual registrar for Narok County.

Respective party lawyers, who appeared before High Court judge Teresa Matheka, agreed in consent an order be issued directing IEBC to access and open ballot boxes in respect of Narok County governor election in a view to accessing the manual register.

Petitioner Moitalel Ole Kenta's lead lawyer Senior Counsel and Kisumu Senator Prof Tom Ojienda, who is being assisted by lawyers Parseen Masikonte, and Clevas Tanyasis, told Justice Matheka that in the event the manual register is not found in the presidential ballot boxes, the first respondent be at liberty to access and open the other five ballot boxes within four days.

Ojienda further told the court that It was also agreed by all parties that the petitioner provide the court and the party's advocates legible copies of the documents identified and requested from IEBC within four days.

"Failure to which the court and parties shall refer to certified copies of Forms 34a, 37b, and 37c where applicable and have been deposited in court," Ojienda.

Ntutu is being represented by a team of three lawyers led by Senior Counsel Kioko Kilukumi, Dickson Kimani, and Paul Nyamodi.

Lawyer Maina Ngaruyia is representing Ntutu's deputy Tamalinye Koech.

Former Law Society of Kenya (LSK) Chairman Erick Mutua and Allan Meingati are appearing for IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati, and the Narok County Returning Officer Sidney Namulungu.

During pre-trial conference last month, Justice Matheka agreed with the parties for the case to start on November 7 and be heard for three days every week for 14 days.

The hearing was set to end on December 2 for the judge to retreat and write her judgement.

The conclusion date has, however, been extended to December 19.

Ntutu's win challenged

In the petition, Ole Kenta is challenging Ntutu’s win in the August 9 polls citing 'massive irregularities' including swapping of his votes in favor of his opponent.

Kenta, a former Narok North MP, moved to the Narok High Court saying he had a 'watertight' case to nullify Ntutu's victory who won the seat with a slim margin of 10,000 votes.

Ntutu of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) beat Kenta (ODM) after garnering 158,100 votes against the latter's 148,270 in the hotly contested race.

In his petition, Kenta claimed the IEBC and unnamed people had a favourite candidate in the governor’s race accusing the county Returning Officer of ignoring him when his team expressed fears about possible rigging.

The results announcement was delayed after chaos erupted at Kilgoris constituency tallying centre on August 12 and 13.

The chaos extended to the Narok county tallying centre at Maasai Mara University, forcing the County Returning Officer Sidney Namulungu to move to Bomas of Kenya where he announced the results on Sunday, August 14.

Ntutu and Kenta had both claimed victory.

Ntutu served as Transport Chief Administrative Secretary before resigning in February this year to vie for the seat.

He is a close ally of President William Ruto.

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