Wajir governor appeals against nullification of his win

Wajir governor appeals against nullification of his win
Wajir governor Ahmed Mohammed Abdi Muhamud.

Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi Mohamud has filed a notice of appeal against the High Court decision that nullified his election.

The governor, through lawyer Tom Macharia, says he is dissatisfied with the judgment delivered last Friday and intends to move to the Court of Appeal on Tuesday, January 16.

After filing the appeal, the Wajir Governor is set to remain in office until the matter is fully determined.

Section 85A of the Elections Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2017 – Appeals to the Court of Appeal, states that: (1) An appeal from the High Court in an election petition concerning membership of the National Assembly, Senate or the office of county governor shall lie to the Court of Appeal on matters of law only and shall be —
(a) filed within thirty days of the decisions of the High Court; and
(b) Heard and determined within six months of the filing of the appeal.

(2) An appeal under subsection (1) shall act as a stay of the certificate of the election court certifying the results of an election until the appeal is heard and determined,

The High Court in Nairobi on Friday, January 12, nullified the election of Wajir Governor Mohammed Abdi Muhamud.

In nullifying the election of the Wajir Governor, Justice Fred Mabeya said 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.

The election petition was filed by former Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi.

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 election process and consequently affecting the results. The court further faulted the IEBC for employing officials who were “incompetent and whose conduct made the elections unaccountable and unverifiable”.

Speaking outside the High Court, Jubilee legislators from Northern Kenya including Wajir Senator Abdulahi Ali, Eldas MP Adan Keynan and his Tarbaj counterpart Ahmed Bashane expressed confidence that they would win the appeal case.

“We tell our supporters to be firm and know that even at the Court of Appeal we will win this case,” said Mr. Bashane.

MP Keynan said: “For those who had the opportunity to interrogate the judgment, I’ll tell you that it was political and malicious. The people of Wajir have absolutely nothing to worry about.”

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