Bernice Mbugua and KNA
Controversial Embakasi East MP Paul Ongili, alias Babu Owino and two other colleagues have fallen by the wayside after the High Court nullified their elections.
At the same time, Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru found herself in a tight corner once again after the Court of Appeal reversed a High Court decision that had dismissed a petition by former Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Martha Karua and ruled that a different judge hear the case afresh.
MPs Babu Owino, Ahmed Kolosh (Wajir West) and Joyce Emanikor (Turkana Woman Representative) had their elections nullified. But Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu survived after a petition filed against her by former governor Julius Malombe was thrown out by High Court Judge Pauline Nyamweya at the Milimani Law Courts.
The judge ordered Malombe to pay a cost of Sh 6million to Ngilu and IEBC. With Babu Owino out, it was the second day for another firebrand MP to fall, after Jubilee rebels, Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter and his Marakwet East counterpart Kangogo Bowen were given marching orders on Thursday.
Both Owino and Keter might have complications lying ahead as both have criminal matters pending, which could derail their chances of being cleared to vie for their seats. Others who have had their elections nullified so far include Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay governor), Mohamed Abdi Mahamud (Wajir governor), Martin Wambora (Embu governor), Chris Karan (Ugenya), Wanjiku Kibe (Gatundu North) and Stanley Muthama (Lamu West).
Justice Joseph Sergon nullified Owino’s election on grounds that there were massive irregularities that occurred during the August 8 election. According to the judge, the election in the constituency was not free and fair as Owino coerced and intimidated the Returning Officer, which led to the declaration results being compromised.
“It is clear that the election results were not verifiable due to the irregularities, however the petitioner failed to prove his claim that violence at a social hall prevented voters from casting their ballots,” said the judge.
Justice Sergon ordered a by-election to be conducted in accordance with the law and Owino and IEBC to pay the petitioner Francis Mureithi, Sh2.5 million each.
Mureithi, who lost to Owino on August 8 had claimed in his petition that there were different sets of results contained in the forms. Justice Sergon ordered for scrutiny and recount of votes after Mureithi’s sought the said orders.
A report filed by the High court deputy registrar on the scrutiny and recount of votes in Embakasi East constituency showed both Owino and his Mureithi had more votes than the August 8 tally.
Wajir West MP Ahmed Kolosh also did not survive the axe as his election was nullified at Milimani Law Courts following successful petition by Ibrahim Sheikh of Kanu.
High Court Judge Francis Tuiyot said results from two polling stations, Qara and Korich, showed the votes cast exceeded the registered number of voters. The judge ordered IEBC to pay the petitioner Sh1.5 million. In Lodwar, the High Court nullified the election of Turkana Women Representative Joyce Emanikor (Jubilee) over irregularities.
The petition was filed by Pauline Lokuruka (ODM). Judge Daniel Ogola Ogembo said vital IEBC forms were not stamped. The judge slapped IEBC with Sh4 million costs of the petition to be shared by Lokuruka and Emanikor.