Senior counsel Okongo Omogeni, Prof Tom Ojienda and Meru governor Peter Munya at consulting inside a court room at Supreme Court.
BY SAM ALFAN.
THE Supreme Court has handed back Meru County Governor Peter Munya his seat.
The highest court in the land set aside the judgment of Court of Appeal sitting in Nyeri which nullified the election of Munya as governor of Meru County.
In a judgment presided over by the President of Supreme Court Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga found that the Court of Appeal erred in law in dismissing the decision of the superior court which upheld the election of Munya.
The judges justice Kalpana Rawal, Philip Tunoi, Jackton Ojwang, Ibrahim Mohamed, Smokin Wanjala and Njoki Ndung’u jointly said the appeal court did not address itself on the issue raised by Dickson Mwendwa as was argued at the high court during the election petition.
The court found and held that the appellate court dwelt on issues of technicalities rather than addressing itself to matter of law so as to give a determination to the appeal that was before them.
The judges concurred with submission of Lawyer Okongo Omogeni that indeed the Court of Appeal erred by addressing themselves on issues of facts as opposed to the law.
“The Court of Appeal ought not to have ventured into issues of scrutiny, recount and irregularities as the same was the mandate of the trial court which heard the petition,” read the judgment.
The judges said Mwendwa ought to have proved that there were irregularities, bribery and corruption that occurred during the March 4 elections so as to give the court opportunity to determine the petition as per the law established.
They noted that the allegation of scrutiny was not supported by any evidence or proof by way of affidavit and it was incumbent upon the trial judge to determine whether to admit the application or decline.
“The admission of the application of scrutiny of votes is not automatic, it is discretion of the trial judge,” the court held.
The judges further found that the appellate court in dismissing the election of Munya looked at the difference of vote casted as being minimal but did not give reasons if the recount would be conducted in seven polling stations would have change the gubernatorial outcome.
The court also found that it was upon the petitioner in the high court to have brought evidence to show that the excess vote casted in certain polling station than the number of registered voters.
In the consequence, the Supreme Court found that Munya was validly elected and quashed the judgment of the Court of Appeal and upheld the decision of election petition court.