Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) National Election Board Chairperson Judith Pareno has been charged with failure to properly tabulate votes from the hotly contested Muhoroni parliamentary seat nomination that could have given a nomination loser the victory.
The conviction comes after Ayiecho Olweny headed to the High Court to dispute the incumbent James K’Oyoo’s win following the nomination election on April 25.
Lady Justice Jessie Lessit ruled in Olweny’s favour, stating that the party failed to tabulate the results for five wards in Muhoroni as ordered on June 2.
“Pareno and the party’s failure to comply forced the court to tally the results of the primaries from all the 87 polling stations. The court established that Olweny won the primaries, garnering 23,578 votes to K’Oyoo’s 13,700 votes,” said Lessit as quoted in Daily Nation on Thursday, June 15.
The Lady Justice nullified K’Oyoo’s nomination certificate forwarded to the IEBC and directing ODM to issue Olweny with a certificate and forward his name to the IEBC as the valid candidate.
“Should ODM decline to give him a certificate, then this judgment will be supplied to the IEBC to serve as his nomination and gazettement as the candidate for the Muhoroni parliamentary seat,” added Judge Lessit.
The judge placed Pareno on the defense to show why she should not be punished for contempt of court.
“I complied with the order of this court by tallying the results which have been relied upon by this court but in case I did not fully implement it, I urge the court to indulge me and give me the chance to comply fully,” said Pareno.
Olweny and his lawyer asked the court not to let Pareno have it easy. Olweny’s lawyer asked that the ODM official either be jailed for six months or fined KSh 5 million for defying court orders.
Pareno will be sentenced on Monday, June 19.