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BY CORRESPONDENT,KISII,5TH FEB 2018-Kisii senator Sam Ongeri is has gotten reprieve after High Court in Kisii upheld his election victory on Monday.
While delivering her ruling Justice Winfridah Okwany dismissed a petition filed by two voters who claimed that the August polls were marred by irregularities.
In their petition, voters Charles Orito and George Ogake alleged that IEBC did not use credible voters register in conducting the exercise.
They also claimed that votes cast in 184 polling stations differed from the registered number of voters.
But Justice Okwany, in her judgement, said that the petitioners failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.
She noted that human errors by election officials did not materially affect the final outcome.
“The petitioners herein failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt. The burden of proof lies on them,” she said.
Ongeri defeated former South Mugirango MP Omingo Magara with a margin of 64, 687 votes.
He garnered 183, 375 votes against Magara’s 118, 688.
Orito and Ogake had listed county returning officer Sidney Namulungu, IEBC, and Ongeri as the respondents.
The petitioners asked to the court to invalidate Ongeri’s victory on grounds he was not validly elected.
Allegations by the petitioners that the senator engaged county employees during the election were also overuled.
“I find it false and absurd that the third respondent (Ongeri) used county government employees,” Okwany said.
“The court was in confusion how the third respondent who was a candidate was at the same time engaging the employees,” the judge said.
Lawyers Okong’o Omogeni represented Ongeri; Omwanza Ombati for petitioners, and Charles Rigoro for Namulungu and IEBC.
She at the same time dismissed petitioners allegations that statutory forms had no security features saying that they did not seek a court order to scrutinise the same.Ongeri will however cater for the cost of the suit at Sh 5milion shilings while Namulungu and IEbc will share KSh 3million.