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Court to decide on vote recount in petition against Babu Owino

Monday February 5 2018

Babu Owino.

Embakasi East MP Babu Owino. A court is set to decide on whether to order a vote recount in an election petition filed against him. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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A judge will this morning rule on an application seeking scrutiny and recount of votes cast on August 8, 2017 in Embakasi East Constituency.

In his application, Mr Francis Mureithi, who lost to Mr Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino, said there are various sets of results contained in the forms. This makes it difficult to know who won the race, he said.


Through lawyer Ham Lagat, Mr Mureithi said the forms were not legible, making it difficult to determine whether the results in Forms 35A corresponded with those in Form 35B.

He said the verification is important as there were errors in Form 35B.

Further, the lawyer told Justice Joseph Sergon that Mr Owino admitted in court that he voted in a polling station where he was not registered as a voter.


“This is not an isolated case but only an example of the 3rd Respondent’s (IEBC) officials allowing people to vote without being identified as voters electronically or manually, which was widespread in Embakasi East Constituency,” he said.

Mr Lagat said the only way to determine the accurate election results is a recount of votes.

He also told the judge that there were instances where votes were increased in favour of Mr Owino, and deflation of his client’s votes. Mr Lagat added that the Forms 35A did not have the official IEBC stamp, while others do not bear signatures of the presiding officer.


The lawyer said the results recorded and transmitted from polling stations to the constituency tallying centre at East Africa School of Aviation were inaccurate.

He said there was evidence of manipulation of the results in a number of polling stations and votes were inflated in favour of Mr Owino.

He cited including Embakasi Social Hall Polling Station Number 6, Embakasi Social Hall Polling Station Number 7, Embakasi Primary School Polling Station Number 6, Edelvale Primary School Polling Station Number 3, Edelvale Primary School Polling Station Number 4, and Soweto Social Hall Polling Station Number 28.


In reply, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission admitted that there were errors in a number of forms, but said the errors could not be the basis for scrutiny.

Mr Joseph Mele Eroo, the Nairobi county election manager, said that lack of stamps in some of the statutory forms was not a basis for scrutiny in an election petition.

Mr Owino, through lawyer Jackson Awele, said the lack of stamps in 44 random polling stations should not be the basis for a recount.

He added that the petitioner cannot claim the poll was marred with irregularities without pointing at specific areas.


Meanwhile, another court will hear an application seeking to recall some electoral officials who oversaw the election in Wajir West Constituency.

Justice Francis Tuiyot had directed parties to argue the application this morning after they concluded scrutiny and recount of votes in four polling stations.

The petitioner, Mr Abdirahman Ibrahim Mohamed (Kanu), challenged the election of MP Mohamed Ahmed Kolosh (ODM).