Flamboyant businessman turned politician, Steve Mbogo, has been slapped with a Sh10 million fine after a high court judge dismissed his petition against Starehe MP Charles Njagua aka Jaguar.
Justice Fred Ochieng today ruled that the Jubilee MP was validly elected and that Mbogo failed to provide sufficient evidence of the irregularities he had alleged to have marred the Parliamentary elections in Starehe constituency, including availing the forms that he had claimed were not signed.
The judge further said that Mbogo failed to prove that there were discrepancies in the results announced by the IEBC.
“The election was conducted in accordance with the Constitution. The petitioner did not satisfying the legal burden of proof,” Justice Ochieng ruled.
COURT SLAPS 2017 ELECTION PETITIONERS WITH HEFTY PENALTIES
Steve Mbogo becomes the latest unsuccessful 2017 election petitioner to handed down a heavy fine by the courts in cost of suit. Critics have condemned the judiciary for awarding the immense penalties saying they will discourage future petitioners from seeking electoral justice in the courts.
“The fine is just to scare away people who want to seek electoral justice and democracy,” said Alfred Chore, who together with Robinson Mwanga had unsuccessfully contested the election of Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba.
They were both fined Sh10 million.
The 2017 general elections witnessed the highest number of petitions filed challenging the elections of the candidates who were declared duly elected by the IEBC.
The petitioners have only the option of paying the fines, or contest them at the appellate court. Failure to pay the costs could see the individuals committed to civil jail.
PETITIONER HIT WITH COSTS OF SH12 MILLION FOR LOSING PETITION AGAINST OJAAMONG
The highest cost of suit, Sh 12M, was slapped on Peter Odima who unsuccessfully challenged the election of Busia governor Sospeter Ojaamong.
Odima is an aide to former Funyula MP Paul Otuoma.
MARTHA KARUA FAULTS HIGH COURT JUDGE OVER SH10 MILLION FINE
Martha Karua, who has filed an appeal against a ruling by a high court judge nullifying her petition against Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru, faulted an order by Justice Lucy Gitari which ordered that Karua pays Sh10 milllion as cost of litigation to all the respondents in her case.
Other unsuccessful 2017 election petitioners who have been hit with hefty fines include former Mombasa senator Hassan Omar (Sh 8M), Kazungu Kambi (Sh 4M) and Wavinya Ndeti (Sh 10M).