Why Wavinya Ndeti, Hassan Omar Face Jail Time

  • Politicians Wavinya Ndeti and Hassan Omar are among the politicians who could face jail time if they do not pay the hefty bills as the cost of petitions they filed.

    Petitioners who unsuccessfully contested the elections of Governors and Members of Parliament in the August polls were hit with a hefty bill as the cost of petitions.

    Three ordinary voters in Trans Nzoia and Busia Counties were given a Sh22 million bill to shoulder.

    Martha Karua, Hassan Omar, Simeon Lesirma and former Labour Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi have pending petition costs of Sh30 million.

    [caption caption="Former Law Society of Kenya Chairman Eric Mutua"][/caption]

    According to former Law Society of Kenya Chairman Eric Mutua, if one fails to pay the expenses given by the courts, the petitioner could be committed to civil jail if they have no assets that can be auctioned to foot the bill.

    Mutua stated: “We call them the decree-holder, the person who has the award in his favour can instruct an auctioneer to look if you have assets to be attached to recover the cost. If you have no assets, you will be committed to civil jail for non-payment.”

    However, such hefty awards have been criticised and alleged that they are an impediment to pursuit for justice by discouraging future petitioners.

    The highest petition cost from the 2017 elections was slapped on Peter Odima, who contested the election of Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong.

    High Court judge Hatari Waweru ordered Odima, an aide to former Funyula MP Paul Otuoma, to pay Ojaamong and IEBC Ksh.12 million.

    [caption caption="Former Funyula MP Paul Otuoma"][/caption]

    Karua was compelled by the Kirinyaga High Court to foot a Sh10 million bill when her petition contesting the election of Governor Anne Waiguru was dismissed at the preliminary stage.