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Obado confident he will avoid by-election

24 April 2014, 17:04 Millicent Kawii

Nairobi - The Supreme Court boosted embattled Migori Governor Zacharia Okoth Obado’s efforts in fighting his lost seat back when it ruled that his appeal case will proceed.

Judges Mohammed Ibrahim and Njoki Ndung’u ruled that the nearly ousted governor’s appeal  was properly filed and that the orders issued by the Court of Appeal quashing his election and granting the elections body a ticket to declare his seat vacant , conduct by elections and the speaker to be sworn in as  interim governor be stopped once more until his case is determined.

His opponent Prof. Edward Akong’o Oyugi who had challenged his election at the appellate Court in Kisumu had opposed Mr Obado’s suit in the top Court arguing that it had not been properly moved there as required and hence wanted it dismissed.

But the two bench judge upheld Mr Obado’s request for the appellate Court judgment orders halted for the second time until his appeal is heard and instead dismissed Prof. Oyugi’s claims.

“The application opposing this suit is null, the execution of the Appellate judgment is halted temporarily, we order that; the speaker should not assume office of the governor on interim basis, the seat should not be declared vacant and the IEBC should not announce or go ahead to conduct by elections until this case is determined,” ruled the judges.

The judges also directed that both Prof Oyugi and Mr Obado to file their suit papers and appear before the registrar on Friday to confirm compliance before further hearing dates or orders are given.

The judges insisted that the speaker should not be sworn in on interim basis as governor since even if a case is pending the court has the mandate to ensure that the office has an incumbent till when it will make its determination on the substantial elected person.

The judges defended the decision to halt the appellate Court’s judgment orders saying that the appeal would be irrelevant if the orders are not stopped even if it is on temporary basis.

The two judges earlier this month had saved Mr Obado from being sued for Court of Contempt over offensive remarks directed to the Court of Appeal in a statement to the media soon after it delivered its ruling quashing his election.

He had explained in his apology the said remarks were erroneously send to the media by an individual from his office without his authorization.

He had allegedly  remarked that the Court’s ruling could not be relied on for the realization of Justice and also blamed political bigwigs in Nyanza of having an interest with the case and hence manipulated the outcome.

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