Monday, April 21, 2008

Kenya: Ruling - Poll Petitioners Must Do Homework

All Africa - Nyakundi Nyamboga

Nairobi — The petitioner lost to the first respondent in the December 27 parliamentary elections.

He petitioned against the results on January 24, complaining of the conduct of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) and its official, Mr Andrew Rianga.

The first respondent, the Assistant minister, Dr Wilfred Machage, then filed this application on February 28 for orders that the petition be struck off. He said the petition was defective and invalid.

Through lawyers, Mr Tom Kajwang' and Mr Ochillo Ayacko, the petitioner's application was on the ground that he was not served with the petition within the period prescribed by law.

Mr Mwita Maroa opposed the application on the grounds that Machage had accepted service of the petition "personally" through his personal secretary.

He argued that the documents presented to court showed the assistant minister was served as provided for in law on January 25 at his office at Co-operative House, Nairobi.

Machage's personal secretary allegedly made it clear that she was authorised to receive the document on his behalf, but in an affidavit, Maroa claims that she refused to sign a copy of the petition.

The petitioner further claimed that as a precautionary measure, he still had to serve Machage by way of publication in the Kenya Gazette after the assistant minister "perfected the art of evading service"...

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Kenya: Ruling - Poll Petitioners Must Do Homework


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