20 politicians pin election hopes on Supreme Court

A year after elections, three governors, a senator and several MPs are still in court.

The Supreme Court building. About 20 politicians who lost their election petitions in the High and Appellate courts have taken their cases to the Supreme Court. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

IN SUMMARY

  • By the end of March, forty cases were successful while 312 had been thrown out.

  • So far, the Court of Appeal has allowed 13 petitions while 20 are pending.

  • Judges have until the end of September to clear the cases.

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About 20 politicians who lost their election petitions in the High and Appellate courts have taken their cases to the Supreme Court.

Buoyed by the nullification of the presidential election on September 1, 2017, many losers rushed to court, challenging the results.

And a year later, three governors, a senator and several MPs are still in court.

National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka moved to the Supreme Court and successfully challenged the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.

DISMISSED

For the first time in Africa, a presidential election was nullified throwing Kenya into another campaign mode.

In a majority decision, the Supreme Court ordered a repeat election and directed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to do it in compliance with the Constitution.

The October 26, 2017 repeat election results were also challenged but the Supreme Court dismissed the case filed by Mr Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa.

Some 388 petitions were filed in court, with 98 challenging the election of MPs, 12 against woman representatives, 15 for senators and 113 for ward representatives.

PENDING

The Judiciary gave priority to the petitions, with some judges handling two or three cases.

Judges and magistrates had six months to hear and determine the poll petitions.

By the end of March 2018, 40 petitions were successful while 312 had been dismissed.

Some 34 cases were withdrawn while one case ended when a respondent died.

OVERTURNED

So far, the Court of Appeal has allowed 13 petitions while 20 are pending.

Judges have until the end of September to clear the cases.

Governors whose wins were nullified are Mohamed Abdi (Wajir), Cyprian Awiti, (Homa Bay) and Embu’s Martin Wambora.

The Court of Appeal reversed the decision to nullify Mr Wambora’s victory, saying the petitioner — Mr Lenny Kivuti — did not prove his claims of malpractice. The former Embu Senator has since moved to the Supreme Court.

NULLIFIED

MPs whose wins were nullified include Paul Ongili, also known as Babu Owino (Embakasi East), David Kangogo Bowen (Marakwet East), Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills) and Turkana Woman Rep Joyce Emanikor. Fourteen MCAs lost their seats.

A number of politicians moved to the Court of Appeal and successfully had the rulings against them overturned.

Those who retained their seats are Mr Owino, Mr Keter, Mr Bowen and Ms Emanikor and Ms Annie Wanjiku Kibe of Gatundu North.

The election of Wajir West MP Mohamed Ahmed Kolosh had also been nullified but the lawmaker was successful upon appeal.

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