IEBC did good a job in governor election, says Hassan Joho

Thursday December 14 2017

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho takes when he testified on December 13, 2017 during the hearing of a petition challenging his election filed by Mr Hassan Omar. He defended his re-election in the August 8 election, saying it was free and fair. PHOTO |KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By GALGALO BOCHA
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Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho has defended his re-election in the August 8 election, saying it was free and fair.

The ODM deputy party leader denied influencing the outcome.

Testifying in a petition filed by former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar, Mr Joho Wednesday denied hatching any rigging scheme with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officers.

He told Justice Lydia Achode, who is presiding over the hearing, that he was duly elected after winning with a huge margin against his competitors, including Mr Omar.

“I am the duly elected Governor of Mombasa…The election was free and fair … IEBC did a commendable job, especially in respect to the election of the seat of the governor in Mombasa County,” Mr Joho remarked.

He was being cross-examined by Mr Omar’s lawyer Yusuf Aboubakar and re-examination by his lawyer Mohammed Balala and IEBC’s advocate, Senior Counsel Paul Nyamodi.

Mr Joho also denied Mr Omar’s claim that County Returning Officer Nancy Wanjiku did not comply with election regulations in declaring him the winner.

FORMS

He repeatedly declined to say whether or not he had the forms declaring him the winner, saying the IEBC was more suited to respond to that.

The governor also told Justice Achode that the IEBC was better placed to say whether the declaration forms were signed and stamped or not, saying that as far as he was concerned, his declaration was proper and in accordance with the Constitution and election laws and regulations.

Mr Aboubakar had to abandon cross-examination after the judge stopped him from asking Mr Joho about his controversial degree certificate and qualification to run for governor.

This was after a heated debate between Mr Aboubakar and Mr Joho’s lawyers Mohammed Balala and Paul Buti.

Mr Balala and Mr Buti convinced the judge that the petitioner excused himself from being cross-examined on the two contentious issues.

MALIGN GOVERNOR

Mr Balala said Mr Aboubakar’s cross-examination was merely meant to malign the governor and added no value to the case.

An irate Aboubakar reiterated that he was not aware of his client abandoning the two key issues in his affidavit, adding that they are subject to a case pending before the Court of Appeal.

Mr Omar, who was the Wiper Democratic Movement candidate, and his running mate, Ms Linda Shuma, want the court to declare that there were massive irregularities in the conduct of the election of the Mombasa governor.

They also want the IEBC and Ms Kariuki’s declaration of Mr Joho as validly elected governor declared invalid, null and void, as well as scrutiny and recount of votes done and a fresh gubernatorial election held.

The hearing continues.