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Petition against Joho’s election takes unprecedented twist

A petition challenging the reelection of Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho has now taken an unprecedented direction after Jubilee politician Hassan Omar asked the presiding judge to step down.

Former Mombasa Senator, who filed the case, demanded for Justice Lydia Achode to excuse herself from the case over what he termed as ‘open bias and double standardsin handling his applications.

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He claimed on Monday that the judge agreed to hear and grant applications by Joho but refused to hear those he filed.

Omar,through his lawyer Yusuf Abubakar,  further said the presiding judge “gave open latitude” to Joho’s advocates during the cross-examination of the Governor and his witnesses, but restricted his lawyer.

He further said Achode demonstrated that she will grant prayers to scrutinise ballot papers before the hearing of the application.

Omar gave the example of the judge allowing an application that questioned the legibility of stamps by the commissioner of oaths, which further poked holes into documents obtained on a hard drive from the IEBC.

“This was a deliberate attempt by the judge to undermine the core of the qualitative analysis of gubernatorial elections,” the lawyer said.

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Abubakar questioned the judge’s decision not to grant them orders compelling IEBC to furnish them with form 37A after their preliminary prayer.

“The act of denying us basic election materials, despite our prayers, and the move to strike out some of our evidence is a clear indication of bias,” he said.

Omar further noted that Achode entertained a litany of irrelevant questions from Joho and IEBC lawyers despite their plea for intervention.

He said the lawyers also questioned his client’s education level yet when this was raised in Joho’s case, the court kept him from answering.

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“It is with this that I am convinced that the judge has not acted in the interest of justice, has engaged in misconduct by acting outside the law and has evidently been mischievous,” he said.

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