Lawyer Okong’o Omogeni for the lawyer Frank Ochieng’ Walukwe who is contesting for the position of law society of Kenya Council member post outside Milimani law court on Tuesday 16 February ,2016.
BY SAM ALFAN.
High court has quashed the decision of Law Society of Kenya (LSK) to refuse to enter the name of lawyer Frank Ochieng’ Walukwe as the council member of the law society of Kenya contestants.
Justice Korir allowed Ochieng’, one of the contestants, who was allegedly denied an opportunity to contest as national council member to vie for the seat on the grounds that he is eligible.
“The applicant is indeed eligible to contest for the post of Council member of the Law Society of Kenya” Justice Korir.
Korir also prohibited LSK and Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from excluding the name of the applicant from the ballot papers claiming that there are no regulations barring him from contesting.
“The application also succeeds that the applicant was treated differently from other candidates who had not met the eligibility criteria at the time of lodging of nomination papers” ruled the judge.
Judge Korir added that there are no regulations set in place to govern LSK elections and thus the lawyer was discriminated and LSK acted contrary to the law.
The judge said the candidate is eligible because there are other candidates who were allowed and had submitted their papers as late as this year.
“The society by allowing other candidates to rectify their papers on unknown dates between 24 November and 1 February cannot be allowed to claim that the election process commenced at the time the candidates submitted their nomination papers” ruled Korir.
Korir added that LSK exercised discretion in a biased while it let it open for other candidates and closed for the applicant.
“It is not about popularity but the violated rights, the candidate was treated unfairly,” said Korir.Ochieng’ Moved to court claiming that LSK had barred him from participating in the coming February 25 elections.
Through his lawyer Okong’o Omogeni, Mr Ochieng told the court that he was denied the opportunity to participate in the elections for the simple reason that he was not eligible.
Mr Omogeni said that at the hearing of the judicial review application, he will be seeking to quash the decision of LSK to refuse to enter the name of the applicant as one of the contestants.
The court will also be asked to prohibit LSK and IEBC from excluding the name of the applicant from the ballot papers.
Ochieng claimed that on September 17, 2015, LSK issued a notice of elections requesting the nomination of candidates for elections.
He added that he completed filing the nomination papers and they were returned to him on Friday November 10, 2015.
“I was shortlisted by LSK to contend for the seat of council member at the national office on November 24, 2015,” said Ochieng’.
He adds that the Law Society Act provides that a person is eligible to vie for the position provided he is a member of the society and has been in practice for at least two years from the date of admission.
“I have been an advocate of the High Court since January 23, 2014 and therefore I am eligible to vie for the council position,” said Ochieng’.
The petitioner claims that he saw the notice on social media on February 1, 2016 informing him that he was not eligible to vie for that position.
He claims that he was not given an opportunity to be heard before LSK reached the decision.Ochieng claims that LSK has not communicated with him officially and terms its action a violation of the law.