The Political Parties Disputes Tribunal (PPDT) has handed Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo a temporary reprieve from expulsion from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and removal from parliamentary committees.
The tribunal, in a notice issued today by the PPDT chairperson Desmas Nungo, has barred ODM from acting on a report from its disciplinary committee that recommended expulsion of Mr Odhiambo alongside other four lawmakers over allegations of defying the party on various matters.
The tribunal has certified the matter as urgent with the case listed for mention on September 20, 2023 with the Raila Odinga-led party ODM listed as first respondent in the case with the Registrar of Political Parties listed as second respondent.
In the notice, the tribunal has barred ODM from acting on its report to expel Mr Odhiambo from the party and also removing him from two parliamentary committees in the National Assembly where he is currently serving as a member.
“In the interim and pending the hearing and determination of this application, this honorable Tribunal hereby issues interim conservatory orders staying and or halting the implementation enforcement the decision of the 1st Respondent to expel the Complainant, Elisha Ochieng Odhiambo, from the membership of the 1st Respondent, Orange Democratic Party,” reads part of the orders issued by the tribunal
“On the interim and pending the hearing and determination of this Application, this Honorable Tribunal hereby issues interim orders barring the 1st Respondent from removing the Complainant, Elisha Ochieng Odhiambo, as a committee member of the Departmental Committee on Energy and Members Service and Facilities Committee in the National Assembly.”
The decision by the tribunal now sets the beginning of a legal battle between the party and the rebel MPs as others had also vowed individually to challenge the decision of the party at the tribunal.
According to the report, which was released last week, ODM expelled five lawmakers over allegations of gross misconduct. They are MPs Felix Odiwuor (Lang’ata), Elisha Odhiambo (Gem), Caroli Omondi (Suba South), and Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda, as well as Kisumu Senator Tom Ojienda, for defying the party's position on various matters.