The Court of Appeal has ordered the High Court to hear afresh a petition filed by Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua challenging the election of Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru.
Judges Mohamed Warsame, Daniel Musinga and Otieno Odek set aside the striking out Ms Karua’s petition and ordered that it be heard fresh by another judge.
The judges faulted Lady Justice Lucy Gitari of Kerugoya High Court for dismissing the case despite the petition raising weighty issues.
The judgement, read by Justice Warsame, also found Justice Gitari failed to appreciate that role of courts in consideration dispute irrespective of whether issues raised were insignificant or not.
The judges observed that Karua raised serious allegations that required the judge to investigate and determine them instead of prematurely striking out the petition despite conclusion of pre-trial and hearing date fixed.
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“We are satisfied that the learned judge did not exercise her discretion properly. It is incumbent upon the court to address the substantive raised by the appellant,” the judges said.
The judges also agreed with Karua that Justice Gitari unfairly dismissed her petition on technicality grounds that she omitted the election results and dates declared in her petition.
They observed that striking out the petition on such ground without examining other fundamental aspects of the case was tantamount to miscarriage of justice.
The court also set aside Sh10 million that the court slapped on Ms Karua saying it was excessive and form of punishment to deter Kenyans from accessing court justice.
It awarded Ms Karua Sh2 million as cost of appeal.