Court nullifies Wajir gubernatorial election

Court nullifies Wajir gubernatorial election
Wajir governor Ahmed Mohammed Abdi Muhamud.

The High Court in Nairobi on Friday nullified the election of Wajir Governor Mohammed Abdi Muhamud.

In his ruling, Justice Fred Mabeya said that Governor Muhamud was not validly elected since he was not properly cleared to run for the seat.

“Accordingly I make a finding that as at 8th August 2017, the Ist respondent-governor Muhammed Abdi Mahamud did not have the academic qualifications to vie for position of governor. He was therefore not legally cleared to vie for that position as he did not satisfy the provisions of section 22(2)of the Election act, “ruled Justice Mabeya.

In a petition filed by Ahmed Abdullahi, the court further noted that Muhamud did not hold a degree as required.

Further, the court observed that there were irregularities with some of the ballot boxes from polling stations having been re-opened after they had already been sealed.

“Because of the irregularities committed by IEBC, the elections could not be verified, from the irregularities committed by IEBC cannot be said to have conducted the elections competently and efficiently,”said Mabeya.

The court also noted that the principles of the secrecy of the ballot was breached and that the record of the election through the prescribed forms 37 A, 37B and 37 C was neither accountable nor credible.

The court indicated that many voters were assisted in voting thereby compromising the integrity of the process and consequently results further faulting IEBC for employing officials who were incompetent and whose conduct made the elections unaccountable and unverifiable.

The court noted that there were alterations in some forms yet there was no countersigning as required by law.

Further, the court said that many forms were not genuine; either photocopies with no watermarks or printouts and did not explain where the originals were.

“In totality, the court hereby finds that the petitioners have succeeded in convincing the court the election was not conducted in a free and fair manner,” ruled Justice Fred Mabeya.

Mabeya has since ordered by election to be held in accordance with the electoral laws and the constitution.

The Speaker of the County Assembly takes over for the next 60 days before the election.

The respondents were directed to pay cost of 2 million shillings.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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