News 2008


Ultimatum in Raila petition

March 11, 2008


By Evelyn Kwamboka and Moses Njagih

The High Court has given Prime Minister-designate, Mr Raila Odinga, three days to file a response to claims made by a rival in an election petition.

High Court Judge, Justice Alnashir Visram, said this would enable him hear an application seeking to strike out Mr Stanley Livondo’s case without delay.

The judge, who goes on vacation on March 13, said Raila’s application was to be heard on March 20.

"I do not want the petition to be delayed and I will be happy to come back during the vacation to hear the application," he said.

Raila’s advocate had asked the court to adjourn hearing of the application since Livondo had served them with the replying affidavit on Thursday.

"Our client is busy and it is not possible to get him at a short notice. We must respond to issues raised in the affidavit," the court heard.

Raila wants the Lang’ata parliamentary election’s petition struck out on grounds that he was not served with the court papers in person.

In a replying affidavit filed by Livondo in court on March 6, the court papers were served on Raila through the Kenya Gazette.

He says three process servers endeavoured to effect the service on Raila at Grand Regency and Serena hotels on January 25.

In the main case, Livondo wants Raila’s election nullified on the grounds that his agents were assaulted and counting of votes conducted in their absence.

Meanwhile, parliamentary ballot boxes and other election materials used in Kirinyaga Central constituency have been handed over to the High Court.

The 102 boxes containing the constituency’s parliamentary votes cast in the contested election were yesterday taken to the High Court in Nyeri.

The change of the custodian of the materials follows an order last month by Lady Justice Mary Kasango that the materials be in the custody of the Deputy Registrar of the High Court pending determination of an election petition filed by the constituency’s former MP, Mr Daniel Karaba.

In her order on February 11, Justice Kasango directed the ECK to ensure that the materials were no longer under its custody since Karaba had named the commission as a respondent in the petition.