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Governor Mohamud, Woman rep get reprieve in poll case

Sunday June 24 2018

Marsabit Governor Mohammed Mohamud Ali

Marsabit Governor Mohammed Mohamud Ali delivers his remarks during the devolution conference at Kakamega High School, Kakamega County, on April 25, 2018. His election had been challenged. PHOTO | ONDARI OGEGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SAM KIPLAGAT
By SAM KIPLAGAT
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The Court of Appeal has dismissed a case challenging the election of Marsabit Governor Mohammed Mohamud Ali and county Woman Representative Safia Sheikh Adan.

In the decision on Friday, Justice Daniel Musinga, Patrick Kiage and Kathurima M’Inoti said there was nothing substantial against the Constitution or the law, which would lead to the invalidation of the two elections.

The appeal against Governor Mohamud was filed by Pius Yattani Wario and Noah Akala, after former Governor Ukur Yattani withdrew from the case following his appointment as a Cabinet secretary.

IRREGULARITIES

Ms Adan’s election was challenged by former Woman Rep Nasra Ibrahim Ibren who alleged irregularities, which allegedly affected the outcome.

In the petition, the court heard that Mr Yattani’s agents were denied the right to participate in the election at the polling and tallying centres.

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It was also alleged that the illiterate voters were coerced to vote for the Jubilee candidate.

But Mr Mohamud dismissed the claims, saying none of the alleged assisted voters swore an affidavit supporting claims of coercion.

The case was heard by Said Chitembwe who dismissed it and ordered the losers to pay Sh5 million.

Mr Yattani appealed, saying the judge failed to find that the irregularities affected the outcome.

VIOLENCE

The Court of Appeal judges dismissed the case because there was no relevant evidence adduced by the petitioners, which the judge did not consider.

The appellants maintained that Forms 37Bs used to declare the results were not authentic due to lack of security features and signatures, and that there was violence which discouraged voters from coming out to vote, thereby affecting the election.

“We are satisfied there was no evidence before the judge on the basis of which he could reasonably arrive at a different conclusion,” they said.

The judges also dismissed the allegations of violence, saying it was an afterthought to shore up the petition.

FINE

They asked the petitioners to pay the same amount, saying it was not excessive considering that advocates had to travel from Nairobi to Marsabit for the hearing of the petition for about four months.

“We do not think that the award can justifiably be described as extravagant or excessive,” they said.

On the Woman representative position, the judges said there was no substantial breach of the law that would have justified the cancellation of the election.