June 19, 2018

Why High Court nullified MP’s August election

The High Court on Wednesday (21/2/18) nullified the election of first-time Maendeleo Chap Chap Lamu West MP, Stanley Muthama.

Delivering his ruling, Justice Weldon Korir also ordered the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and its returning officer to pay the petitioner, Rishad Ahmed Amana, Sh3 million in costs.

Justice Korir said the August 8, 2017 election for Lamu West Constituency was marred by massive irregularities and illegalities.

“Declaration is granted that Stanley Muthama was not validly elected as the Lamu West MP and I declare Lamu West Constituency election on August 8 as null and void,” he said.

The judge noted the petitioner submitted that there were discrepancies in the results in form 35A emanating from the polling stations and form 35B generated by the IEBC returning officer.

“The petitioner clearly brought out the issue of suppression and inflation of votes to his disadvantaged by averting at paragraph 77 of his affidavit sworn in support of the petition,’’ Korir said.

In the affidavit Amana said “ The IEBC Copy of the form 35A for Lamu fort hall 1 polling station indicates that I garnered 178 votes and the third respondent (Muthama) had garnered 66 votes while my agent’s copy of the same form 35A indicates that I obtained 261 votes while the third respondent obtained 36 votes. Curiously the IEBC portal indicates that I garnered 241 votes as per the agent copy of form 35 A.’’ he said.

The judge said for an election to be nullified it must have erroneous errors when mistakes turn out to be a malpractice and not caused by human error.

“Mistakes do not and should not favour, give favours to anyone, in this case, there were multiple errors due to malpractices of the errors,’’ Korir ruled.

Muthama, had been declared the winner of the parliamentary race by the IEBC with 11,090 votes, against ODM’s Amana who had 10,950.

A Homa Bay court on Tuesday nullified the election of Governor Cyprian Awiti and ordered for a fresh election.

Justice Joseph Karanja ruled that there must be fresh polls in the county.

“He cannot be declared validly elected from a flawed process that he has now benefited from. In fact, this petition is allowed with orders that a fresh gubernatorial election for the county of Homa Bay be held. The people of Homa Bay, you have to go back to the polls,” he stated.

The petitioners challenged Awiti’s win citing massive irregularities and results manipulation.

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