Man accuses court of bias in Othaya petition

An election petitioner stunned a Nyeri court yesterday when he interrupted cross- examination of a witness claiming the court was biased.

Poll loser Peter King'ara, who is challenging the election of Othaya MP Mary Wambui, accused the court of according her special treatment.

He told High Court judge Justice Jairus Ngaah that Wambui appeared to be at liberty to avoid answering key questions during cross- examination stage and in the process skewing proceedings to her favour.

"We are creating a system of sacred cows in these proceedings if the witness cannot answer questions from an affidavit that she has adopted as part of her defence," King'ara noted.

He said he was also a lawyer and therefore sought permission of the court to join his own defence team. "I'm a partner advocate in my law firm, Gichuki King'ara and Advocates Co, and I therefore make this application to know if I have the right to audience in my own case," King'ara said.

Justice Ngaah, however, ruled that the petitioner should make his application by following outlined court procedures.

King'ara who appeared angered had shot up after Wambui denounced evidence from an affidavit that had been filed by her chief agent and which her team had also adopted as part of its defence.

King'ara argued that Cecil Miller, who is representing Wambui in the petition, was aiding and abetting his client not to answer questions by making unnecessary objections.

During cross- examination by lawyer Kithenji Marete who is representing King'ara in the petition, Wambui told the court she was not aware if there were discrepancies in results in forms 35 and those on forms 36 used at the tallying centre to declare the winner.

She insisted only her chief agent could answer such a question. "My chief agent, whom I entrusted with making the observations on the ground, is the only one who can verify if there were discrepancies in the final tally," Wambui said.

Through his lawyer, King'ara also made a fresh application challenging the academic qualifications of Wambui and requested her to serve the court with her academic certificates. Justice Ngaah will rule on the application for Wambui's documents and King'ara's request on July 22.

This article was published by THE STANDARD on JULY 10, 2013