Odunga declines to recuse himself from Wavinya’s case

Wavinya Ndeti at the Milimani Law Courts where Justice George Odunga refused to refer her ...
Wavinya Ndeti at the Milimani Law Courts where Justice George Odunga refused to refer her case to another judge following an application by IEBC. PHOTO: DZUYA WALTERS

High Court judge George Odunga on Wednesday declined to recuse himself from hearing Wiper Party’s gubernatorial candidate Wavinya Ndeti’s appeal following an application by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to refer the case to another judge.

Issuing his ruling early Wednesday morning, Justice Odunga said the IEBC application lacked merit and therefore dismissed it with costs.

“IEBC wants to choose a judge that is sympathetic to their case. The application is a manifestation of bad faith on the part of IEBC,”ruled Justice Odunga

Further, the judge said that the application to have him refer the case to another judge does not meet the test to warrant him to disqualify himself from hearing the matter.

IEBC had asked the judge to disqualify himself from hearing the case on grounds that he had a chance to hear and determine a similar matter.

The High Court judge directed the parties to file their responses and appear for inter-party hearing this Friday.

Also read: Blow to Kalonzo’s Wiper as IEBC disqualifies Wavinya from Machakos race

Last week, Justice Odunga set aside the IEBC’s Disputes Resolution Committee decision barring Wavinya Ndeti from contesting for the Machakos gubernatorial seat on a Wiper Party ticket after establishing she was a member of two political parties, Wiper Party and Chama Cha Uzalendo.

Justice Odunga ruled that Wavinya established a prima facie case, saying issues raised are substantive and cannot be termed as frivolous.

Wavinya moved to the High Court Friday, June 9, just a day after the IEBC tribunal nullified her nomination.

In a certificate of urgency, Wavinya argued that the respondent’s decision are prejudicial and violated her right to participate in public elections and further threatens to violate the political rights of people of Machakos County to freely elect a person of their choice as a governor.

Wavinya argued that in arriving at the decision that she is a member of two political parties, IEBC did not accord to the principles of the Constitution and the Political Parties Act in particular provisions on membership to a political party.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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