Monday, October 7, 2013

Court nullifies Nyaribari Chache MP election

Nyaribari Chache MP Chris Bichage shows off his certificate on March 4, 2013 after he was declared winner. The Kisii High Court has nullified his election. PHOTO/FILE.

Nyaribari Chache MP Chris Bichage shows off his certificate on March 4, 2013 after he was declared winner. The Kisii High Court has nullified his election. PHOTO/FILE. 

By JACKLINE MORAA
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Nyaribari Chache MP Chris Bichage on Monday lost his seat after the Kisii High Court nullified his election.

The petition against the ODM MP was filed by Mr Richard Tongi of Wiper party.

The petitioner alleged ghost vote manipulation, write overs, cancellation and favouritism by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission officers.

The petitioner through his lawyer Okongo O'mogeni, asked the court to nullify Mr Bichage' win because the exercise did not meet the requirements of law.

Mr O'mogeni outlined errors committed during the poll during the transposition of figures from form 35 to 36.

All the parties agreed before Justice Edward Muriithi that the final tally used by the Returning Officer Mr Robert Ngeny was different from the one computed in court using a recollection of forms 35.

Justice Muriithi ruled out non signing of formsn by agents and Presiding officers failing to give statutory comments as a reason to vitiate a valid election.

In a recount conducted in 12 polling stations revealed that counterfoils were missing and used and unused ballot books.

During the election, Mr Bichage was declared winner after he garnered 10,706 while Tongi got 10,561-a difference of 145 votes.

During scrutiny in court, there were no booklets and unused counterfoils Gusii County where 458 voters cast their ballot.

"Taking into consideration the absence of booklets and counterfoils in this station, the court cannot authenticate the results bearing in mind the small margin between the winner and runner's up,” ruled Justice Muriithi.

14 unaccounted votes at Amasago and unquestionable way on how ballot boxes were delivered at Keumbu tallying hall.

He added: “Lack of such vital documents makes the process of verification impossible. I therefore nullify the election and give People of Nyaribari Chache a chance to exercise their democratic will.”

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