Judge Odunga Declines to recuse himself from Wavinya Ndeti’s appeal

Justice George Odunga. Photo/file

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

While delivering the ruling, Justice Odunga said that the application by IEBC does not meet the test for him to disqualify himself from hearing the matter.

The judge added IEBC wants to choose a judge that is sympathetic to their case adding that the application is a manifestation of bad faith on the part of IEBC.

“The IEBC application lacks merit and I therefore dismiss it with costs, ruled Justice Odunga.

The electoral body wanted Judge Odunga to disqualify himself from hearing an appeal by Wavinya in which she is challenging the decision by IEBC which nullified her nomination as the Wiper candidate in the Machakos governorship race.

IEBC lawyer Paul Nyamodi argued that Justice Odunga has in the past determined a matter involving Wavinya and therefore wanted the appeal to be heard by a different judge.

Justice Odunga had last week set aside the IEBC’s Disputes Resolution Committee decision barring Wavinya Ndeti from contesting for the Machakos gubernatorial seat on a Wiper Party ticket on grounds that is a member of two political parties, Wiper Party and Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU).

In the application, 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.

She added that the respondent’s decision is 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.

Justice Odunga directed the parties to file their responses and appear for inter-party hearing this Friday.