Court has six months to rule on election petitions - Daily Nation

Election case losers take battle to the Court of Appeal

Monday March 12 2018

Awiti

Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti and his Deputy Hamilton Orata. The High Court dismissed Governor Awiti's election victory following a petition by his rival Joseph Magwanga. Mr Awiti has moved to the Court of Appeal. PHOTO | BARACK ODUOR | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By SAM KIPLAGAT
More by this Author
By RUSHDIE OUDIA
More by this Author

Focus on election petitions now shifts to the Court of Appeal after more than 30 cases were filed arising from recent decisions of the High Court.

In Nairobi, the hearing of more than 10 cases begins on Monday as judges rush against time to conclude the petitions.

According to the poll petition rules, an appeal must be heard and determined within six months from the date of judgment of the High Court.

Petitioners must file their appeals within 30 days from the date of judgment and a notice of appeal stays the execution of any judgment, decree, order or direction from the High Court, pending the determination of the appeal.

WAJIR

Save in exceptional circumstances, the hearing of the case should proceed daily until its conclusion.

Among the cases filed in Nairobi are an appeal by Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi, whose election was nullified by Justice Alfred Mabeya; two appeals challenging the election of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and appeal against the election of Wajir Senator Abdullahi Ibrahim Ali.

Dr Noah Akala of the Orange Democratic Movement seeks to resuscitate and take over an election petition filed against Mr Sonko after Justice Mbogholi Msagha dismissed the case.

NOT INTERESTED

Mr Japheth Muroko and Mr Zachaeus Okoth, who had filed the petition, also challenged the decision to dismiss the case.

Mr Muroko and Mr Okoth had challenged Mr Sonko’s victory but the case was dismissed by Justice Mbogholi who said the two were no longer interested in pursuing it.

Mr Ali’s win was upheld by Justice Richard Mwongo but the petitioners - Mr Abdirahman Adan Abdkadir of ODM and Adow Mohamed Abikar of Kanu - were not pleased with the decision.

NULLIFICATION

Another petition in Nairobi was filed against Kitui South MP Rachael Nyamai's victory as well an appeal by Mr Paul Musyimi Nzengu who failed to overturn the win of Mwingi North MP John Munuve.

Mr Abdirahman Ibrahim Mohamed (Kanu) who lost the race for Wajir West constituency to Mr Mohamed Ahmed Kolosh has also filed an appeal despite successfully arguing for the nullification of Mr Kolosh’s win.

CALL REJECTED

Mr Ibrahim wanted the High Court to declare him the winner but Justice Francis Tuiyott rejected the call, saying he would rather give the people of Wajir West another chance to elect their leader.

While nullifying the MP’s election, the court said there was a deliberate plan to suppress the will of voters.

The judge said the petitioner had proved that results in two polling stations - Qara and Korich - were manipulated in favour of Mr Kolosh.

The court found that those who cast their ballots at the two centres exceeded the number of registered voters.

MALPRACTICES

Embakasi MP Paul Ongili Babu Owino has also filed an appeal after Justice Joseph Sergon nullified his August 8 win.

The court ruled that the election was marred by violence and other malpractices.

Former Kitui Governor Julius Malombe has also moved to the Court of Appeal saying he was not satisfied with the dismissal of his case by Justice Pauline Nyamweya.

The court ruled that evidence presented relied on hearsay.

WITHDRAWN

In Nyeri, the Court of Appeal will hear a petition filed by former Senator Daniel Karaba, who unsuccessfully challenged Mr Charles Kibiru’s win.

Mr Karaba had withdrawn from the case but three voters took over the petition.

Mr Ndung’u Waity has challenged the dismissal of his petition in which he challenged the election of Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi.

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru moved to the Supreme Court when Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua successfully argued for her petition to be heard afresh.

SCRUTINY

Former Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma appealed a decision of the High Court validating the election of Prof Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o.

Justice David Majanja dismissed Mr Ranguma’s petition on January 3, citing lack of evidence.

Mr Ranguma also said Justice Majanja disregarded the admissions and statements made by respondents and witnesses.

“The trial court erred in failing to refer to and be guided by its own decision on the application by the petitioner for scrutiny and recount to the effect that a further ruling could be made by the respondents and their witnesses,” he said.

SECOND ATTEMPT

Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti, whose election was nullified following a petition by his rival Joseph Magwanga, has also filed a notice of appeal, citing dissatisfaction with the decision.

Mr Joel Onsando and Mr Francis Mochoge Omao have also moved to the Court of Appeal in a second attempt to overturn the election of Kisii Governor James Ongwae.

BONCHARI

Mr Zebedeo Opore of Jubilee party wants the court to overturn the victory of People Democratic Party’s John Oroo Oyioka in Bonchari Constituency.

Marakwet East MP David Kangogo Bowen and his Ugenya counterpart Chris Karani have also taken the fight to the higher court in a bid to reclaim the seats they lost when courts nullified their election.

Mr Silvester Lisamula of Shinyalu is also appealing a case against Mr Julius Mungali.