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Nyeri Gubernatorial petition hearing begins

15 May 2013, 14:45 Wangui Joseph

A pre trial conference in regard to a petition filed against Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua was conducted at a Nyeri High court before Justice James Wakiaga on Tuesday.

Gachagua, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) County Returning officer Peter Wanjohi and IEBC were named as the respondents in the matter respectively.

Counsel Mwangi Kibicho, representing IEBC, told court that the first petition filed by Thuo Mathenge who was a candidate in the governorship race should be struck out since it was filed before time.

Kibicho said Thuo rushed to court to file the petition before the stipulated period of 28 days, prior to gazzettement of elected candidates’ names.

He argued that the petitioner would have waited for gazzettement of the names by the polls body as provided by the law.

The second petition was filed by Micheal Mwangi who was contesting for County Representative’s seat in Mukurwe-ini Central Ward on a Saba Saba Asili party ticket but lost.

Kibicho said the second petition was a project to cure the first one after the petitioners realized their mistake.

In the poll results, Thuo who was vying on a Saba Saba Asili party ticket came a distant third with merely 48 882 votes while Gachagua led with more than 137 000 votes.

Thuo’s lawyer Lucy Mwai told court that she was not aware that the hearing was set for Tuesday since she had not been informed.

She however said the two petitions should be consolidated for easier hearing since they have similar arguments.

Kibicho responded that they should not be consolidated since they were filed by different people from different areas though they bear similar sentiments.

The judge adjourned the case to May 22, when all applications will be heard and date set for the full trial.

He also ordered counsels from all parties, including Marete Githinji who is representing Gachagua, to engage in dialogue and agree on issues of determination and the time limit to accomplish the matter.

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