Supreme Court upholds Laikipia Governor’s election

Bernice Mbugua @BerniceMuhindi 

The Supreme Court has upheld the election of Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi. The top court dismissed an appeal filed against  him by Sammy Ndung’u Waity, saying it lacked merit. The Bench said the issues brought before them by Waity should have been handled by the disputes tribunal and IEBC.

Waity, who was Jubilee Party chief campaigner, had argued that  Ndiritu should not have been cleared by IEBC to contest  the governor’s seat as he had resigned from the party a few months to the election.

Ndiritu resigned from Jubilee and vied for the post as an independent candidate after losing the party ticket to his predecessor Joshua Irungu.

In a judgement delivered by Justice Smokin Wanjala, the apex court judges said such disputes should not be matters for an election court.

According to the judges, Waity knew all along that the governor would be vying as an independent candidate and failed to use the appropriate mechanism to challenge the process.

On July, 2018, the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the Nanyuki High Court to dismiss the petition.

The High Court in December, 2017, dismissed the petition challenging Ndiritu’s win, saying it lacked merit. In his petition at the High Court, Waity had claimed that voting had not taken place in some areas of Laikipia North constituency.

He claimed the Pokot community did not participate in the electoral process as they were involved in a security exercise that was being conducted in the area. However, the High Court and Court of Appeal dismissed the suit.

At the same time, the Supreme Court upheld the election of Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito.  Justice Wanjala ruled that they saw no reason to overturn the decision of the Court of Appeal.

The petitioner, Sylverse Anami, had appealed the Court of Appeal’s decision, claiming ODM cleared a different person under a different name in the register.

The Supreme Court, however, dismissed his claims noting that he cannot be allowed to use the Supreme Court to review the IEBC decision, which had found that Justus Gezito Mogali and Justus Kizito are one and the same person.

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