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Plucky Wambora fights on

13 June 2014, 13:02

Nairobi - In his quest to permanently stop his impeachment, Embu Governor Martin Wambora yesterday freshly demanded for a new set of judges to hear his case.

His lawyer Francis Nyamu pleaded with High Court judge George Odunga to allow the setting up of a bench comprising an uneven number of judges to hear his case for a fair hearing.

However the judge categorically declined to heed to his request and said he would make a decision on Monday on whether to have the case heard by a single judge or a new bench would be set up as requested.

Although Mr Nyamu had explained that what the court needs to decide on is whether an impeachment process is a political process that conflicts the county government Act and the constitution with biasness by the Senate, the judge also demanded for a further explanation on how weighty the case is to warrant a bench.

And he said that certain changes had been made in the case therefore it is not as it was before Principal judge Richard Mwongo who was presiding over the case and had allowed them to make the changes.

“We had not amended the case when it was before Mwongo, some occurrences had not happened or were not captured if they did happen; there was no limitation on what was to be included on the changes,” said Mr Nyamu.

Lawyer Ndegwa Njiru for the 35 Embu voters who are seeking to stop Wambora’s impeachment as well said that public participation, freedom of expression, an evaluation of the voters’ democratic right as well as interfering with separation of powers are issues raised in the case and importantly warrant a bench not a single judge.

“When this matter came to court, the Senate committee was not set up, it was formed and then went ahead to investigate Wambora for the first and second time. Circumstances have changed and this would be a valid reason as to why several judges should hear this matter. We need an understanding on whether an impeachment process is an exclusive affair for MCA’s and the Senate,” said Mr Ndegwa.

Whilst the Embu County Assembly opposed the request, Mr Ndegwa added that when the case was before Justice Mwongo the case had not been amended and hence the changed issues could not be addressed then.

On May 15, Wambora first demanded for a set bench of judges appointed by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga but Justice Mwongo had told him that this would not be that easy.

Justice Odunga was also quick to point out that judge Mwongo had ordered that a hearing should strictly proceed as of yesterday and await a final ruling and that no more time should be given to parties of the suit for delay purposes.

But the hearing did not go on as planned following the fresh demands.

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