Midiwo asks court to annul Gem poll citing irregularities

Friday November 10 2017

Jakoyo Midiwo

Mr Jakoyo Midiwo has asked the Siaya High Court to nullify the election of Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo saying there were massive irregularities in the August 8 election. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By NELCON ODHIAMBO
More by this Author

Former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo has asked the Siaya High Court to nullify the election of incumbent MP Elisha Odhiambo saying there were massive irregularities in the August 8 election.

Mr Midiwo at the same time called for a thorough scrutiny of the electoral materials and determine the exact number of votes cast in the Gem parliamentary election.

The former MP has also called for a recount of the votes cast and urged the court to declare him the winner should it establish that he won the election.

"The August election was not an election as it was marred with corruption, intimidation and violence hence this affected the entire voting exercise in Gem Constituency," said Mr Midiwo.

SIX-PIECE VOTING

Appearing before Justice Esther Maina, Mr Midiwo indicated that voting in Gem was not conducted through secret ballot “as the voters were being coerced to adopt the six-piece voting for ODM candidates.”

He also accused Gem Returning Officer Martin Omollo of failing to conduct the elections in strict adherence and conformity with the Constitution.

The petitioner also claimed that the RO had a conflict of interest since “he had business links with the Siaya County government headed by Governor Cornel Rasanga who jointly campaigned with Mr Odhiambo.

The former MP also stated that Mr Omollo was appointed an administrative assistant to conduct clerical jobs in Alego Usonga Constituency and was not validly posted as a retuning officer for Gem Constituency.

COMPLAINTS

"I had lodged numerous complaints with the county returning officer about Martin's appointment and dealings with the county government, but she was [reluctant] to respond to the case," said Mr Midiwo.

He added that his agents were not given the IEBC badges which was a requirement for easy access to polling stations and were eventually locked out of the polling station for some time.

He added that the agents were also kept about five meters away from the counting table during vote counting and that most of the Kiems kits in the entire constituency failed to work leading to no electronic transmission of the results, contrary to Article 181 of the Elections Act.

FORMS 35A

Mr Midiwo also stated that all the forms 35A from the 198 polling stations were filled using the same handwriting, raising more doubts on the signatures.

He added that the POs and DPOs were forced to travel alone to the tallying centre with the forms 35A without transmitting the figures electronically at the polling stations where all agents were supposed to witness the transmission.

"Following the Massive alterations of results in the forms from across the constituency, I wish the court to find that the results were not in accordance with the law. We saw the signature of the ODM chairman Douglas Otiato in form 34B yet he was not an agent since his name was not gazetted as was supposed to be," said Mr Midiwo.

He also claimed that at least 1,740 people voted without being identified electronically and no requisite forms were filled to indicate their approval.

Mr Midiwo garnered 28,245 votes while Mr Odhiambo got 33,520 votes.