By Augustine Mulaa
The High Court in Kakamega has thrown out a petition challenging the election of Matungu MP Peter Oscar Nabulindo.
The by election was called by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) after the death of the then ANC MP Justus Murunga.
David Were of ODM had moved to the court to challenge his victory on grounds that the by election was not conducted in a free and fair manner as it was marred by irregularities.
Former National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende and Dr Ken Nyaundi represented him in the petition while Nairobi City lawyer Michael Osundwa was representing Nabulindo.
Kakamega High Court Judge William Musyoka ruled that that none of the petitioner’s (Were) agents was denied entry into the polling station as alleged.
In fact the judge found out those lined up as witnesses confessed to being the first to vote during the March 4, by-election.
The petitioner had build his case largely on violence scenes that were reported in some of the polling station.
Were through his lawyers had argued that the violence intimidated voters and thus affecting the results.
“Some of those who claimed to have been attacked and injured in the by-election were found to be strangers in the constituency as they were not registered voters in the said polling stations like one at Munami primary school,” Justice Musyoka ruled.
The judge also dismissed claims that violence incidents that were witnessed in the mini polls amounted to voter intimidation and that it did not affect anyone who wanted to vote or affected the outcome of the by-election.
“The petitioner and his witness didn’t present evidence that they were held back from voting.
Some of the witness who took the stand denied knowing some of the people who were mentioned to have castigated the violence,” Judge Musyoka said.
He went on: “This petition lacks merit and is hereby dismissed with costs. The petitioner to pay Sh3 million and to be shared between the first and second respondents at a ratio of 2 to 1,”
Mr Nabulindo was the first respondent while IEBC was the second respondent.
Nabulindo was declared the winner after garnering 14,679 votes against Were’s 10,500 votes. UDA Alex Lanya was a distant third with 4,813 votes while independent candidate Bernard Wakoli got 1,304 votes. Christabel Jane Murunga emerged fifth with 365 votes.