Lang’ata MP Felix Odiwuor alias Jalang’o has urged the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal (PPDT) to dismiss a decision by ODM party that expelled him as its member.
Jalang’o through his lawyer Tom Ojienda on Wednesday told PPDT chairperson Desma Nungo that he had been expelled from the Party and that due process was not followed.
His position was that he had not been served with various key documents and the decision to charge had not been granted an opportunity to ventilate his defence and that his actions that resulted in his ouster from the party’s Register were not so grievous as to invite such a grave action as removal from the Party.
However, the jurisdiction and composition of the disciplinary committee was challenged by Jalang’os lawyers.
“Restore my status as a Member of the ODM Party which stood jeopardized by the notification by the Party to the Registrar of Political Parties seeking my removal from the Party’s Register,” he told the Tribunal.
ODM Party through Advocate Samuel Makori argued that Jalang’o had not been expelled but was deemed to have resigned pursuant to Section 14(1)(e) of the Political Parties Act which allows a Party to part ways with a Member who by his conduct is deemed to have resigned by virtue of promoting the ideologies, interests or policies of another Political Party.
It was the Party’s argument that Jalang’o had more on one occasion exhibited his dalliance and affection to, and with, the ODM Party by his conduct which included meetings with both the President and Deputy President at a time of heightened opposition to the Government.
The meetings in question are said to have occurred at the time the Azimio coalition had been championing protests against the UDA Government on the high cost of living.
He urged the tribunal to dismiss the complaint and case by Jalang’o on the grounds that he had been granted adequate and full opportunity to make and state his defence.
“The legislator chose not to attend his own Disciplinary Hearing and instead on the date of his hearing attended a Presidential Function which according to them demonstrated his newfound dalliance and affection for the Ruling Coalition,” Makori added.
To show Jalang’os affiliation with the ruling coalition, the ODM Party tabled evidence of meetings with key figures in the ruling coalition and occasions where the legislator had demonstrated support for the government.
One of the pieces of evidence tabled was details of a press conference where the first-time lawmaker held a Press Conference alongside five other ODM legislators and denounced the Azimio demos that had been called by the Coalition.
The MPs asked their respective constituents in the Presser to stay away from the protests a move which is said to have angered the ODM Party hierarchy and a majority of their supporters.
The Tribunal will render its judgment on November 29.
The ODM Party had axed several Members of Parliament including Jalang’o, Tom Ojienda (Senator, Kisumu), Gideon Ochanda (MP, Bondo) and Caroli Omondi (MP, Suba South) over their alleged dalliance withe the Ruling Coalition, UDA.
The decision to expel out the Legislators was arrived at after a National Executive Committee Meeting of the ODM Party.