The lawyer also said IEBC dismantled all the safeguards that would have ensured the votes remained safe because many ballots boxes did not have official IEBC seals, the counterfoils were missing and alterations made without countersigning, among other irregularities.

Thursday’s judgment will either bring to an end or extend the anxiety and uncertainty that has gripped the county residents for almost a year following the long-drawn tussle between Mr Awiti and his political nemesis, the former Kasipul MP.

The election was nullified on February 2018 and judges Philip Waki, Fatuma Sichale and Otieno Odek upheld the nullification on July 19.

SECURITY

Authorities said security has been bolstered to avert potential ugly scenes by opposing camps.

Homa Bay County Commissioner Irungu Macharia and police commander Esther Seroney said security officials have heightened surveillance in major towns in the county.

Mr Macharia said his office is collaborating with the National Intelligence Service to get information on groups who may cause chaos.

“Youths are warned not to engage in any activity that is likely to cause violence. They should remain peaceful at all times during and after the ruling,” he said during a security meeting at his office on Wednesday.

Residents have for the past year raised concerns that the petition as well as other legal tussles facing other county officials and ward representatives have hindered delivery of services to the public in the south Nyanza county.

But Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata insists everything is in control.

“The county is not at a standstill as some people may think. We are doing a lot of projects including roads, water and even putting up toilets in markets. We are optimistic we won in the last election and this will be proven,” Mr Orata said.

Mr Magwanga, on the other hand, appealed for calm ahead of the court verdict on Thursday.

“I will accept whatever the court says. Whether it orders for a re-election or whether it says that Mr Awiti should proceed with his duty of serving Homa Bay residents,” the former MP said.

Page 2 of 2