While making their determination, the tribunal vice-chairperson, Wilfred Mutubwa stated that they had determined that Wanjigi’s faction filed a petition at the tribunal before resolving the matter with the party.
Mutumbwa added that the decision was unanimous, further giving the ODM party the green light to proceed with their meeting scheduled for February 25 and 26.
“In our view, we find that the matter by the complainants before our jurisdiction was prematurely invoked. The preliminary objection by the ODM Party is merited and upheld. The application by the petitioners is struck out,” the tribunal ruled.
Additionally, both the petitioners and the party were directed to meet their respective legal fees.
“We note that this dispute is pitted among members of the same political party. In the interest of fostering party cohesion and encouraging the parties to attempt internal dispute settlement, we will not award costs,” Mutubwa stated.
The tribunal’s decision was in agreement with the party Secretary General Edwin Sifuna who, in an affidavit, stated that the petitioners had filed a complaint with the party after filing their petition at the tribunal.
He added that some of the signatories were not members of the party.
“They wrote to my office raising the complaints on February 16 and a day later, they filed the case when our party has internal dispute mechanisms which should have been given time to handle their issues.
“The application was filed through fraud and illegality since nine of them have denied authorizing the filing. The logical conclusion is that the applicants concocted a dispute and went about shopping for people to support them,” stated Sifuna.
During the proceedings, ODM through their lawyer Jackson Awele asked the tribunal to throw out the petition stating that the party had invited distinguished dignitaries from other countries to attend the NDC.
Following the determination, ODM is expected to continue with their preparations for the NDC as they await to endorse Raila as their presidential flagbearer.
The orange party is also holding its NDC on the same day as Jubilee – with speculation rife that President Uhuru Kenyatta may make an appearance at the ODM meeting to formally endorse Raila.