Karua accuses judge of bias in petition against Governor Waiguru
- NARC Kenya party leader on Saturday urged Kerugoya High Court Judge Lucy Gitari to step down from hearing an election petition she filed against Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru.
- In an application filed by her lawyer Gitiobu Imanyara, Ms Karua argues that the same Judge dismissed the petition on November15 last year before it was heard and determined, hence she should not handle it.
- Through lawyer Paul Nyamondi, the respondent has however said she has full confidence in Justice Gitari and asked her not to step down from hearing the petition.
NARC Kenya party leader Martha Karua on Friday urged Kerugoya High Court Judge Lucy Gitari to step down from hearing the election petition she filed against Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru.
This was after Ms Karua accused Justice Gitari of being biased and urged her to disqualify herself with immediate effect.
In an application filed by her lawyer Gitobu Imanyara, Ms Karua argues that the same Judge dismissed the petition on November 15 last year before it was heard and determined, hence she should not handle it.
“I moved to an appeal court after you struck out my petition before it was heard. The appeal court then ordered that the petition be heard afresh and it is only fair that you should not hear it,” said Ms Karua.
The petitioner further accused the Judge of having a fixed mind and expressed fear that justice might not prevail.
“When you first made a ruling on my petition you used disparaging words. There was use of unnecessary strong language, demonstrating that you had a fixed mind. Therefore I’m here to urge for a recuse. The petition should be heard by another judge for me to get a fair hearing,”argued Ms Karua.
The former Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, through her affidavit, provided 16 grounds which she said clearly shows that the presiding judge ought to recuse herself before the matter goes to full hearing.
She pointed that the judge deliberately omitted some of her presentations and were not captured in her ruling.
Governor Anne Waiguru, however, dismissed the application by Ms Karua as baseless and urged the court to dismiss it with costs.
Through lawyer Paul Nyamondi, the respondent said she had full confidence in Justice Gitari and asked her not to step down from hearing the petition. Nyamondi also argued that the court had no jurisdiction to hear the petition since time given by the Election Act of six months had already lapsed.
He stated that Section 75 (1 and 2) of the Election Petition Rules clearly says that the petition should be heard and determined in six months, terming the Court of Appeal order to rehear the petition as nullity and should be ignored.
He insisted that neither the High Court nor the Court of Appeal has power to prolong the law which is clearly in the constitution.
Justice Gitari, however, said she would make her ruling on Ms Karua’s application on April 6.
Ms Karua filed the petition against Governor Waiguru soon after last year’s August gubernatorial election complaining of massive irregularities.
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