Relief for Wajir governor as court throws out poll petition

Wednesday, July 26th, 2023 01:13 | By
Wajir Governor, Ahmed Abdullahi during a past appearance in court. PHOTO/Print
Wajir Governor, Ahmed Abdullahi during a past appearance in court. PHOTO/Print

An appeal case challenging the election of Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi has been thrown out.
Court of Appeal Judges Daniel Musinga, Hellen Omondi and Ngenye Macharia dismissed the appeal which had been filed by the Governor’s rival Hassan Mohamed Adam for lack of a proper notice of Appeal.

The judges noted that Adam who was represented by lawyers Kioko Kilukumi, Paul Nyamodi and Issa Mansur filed the notice of appeal in Garissa High Court and not the Court of Appeal at Nairobi.
According to the judges, only a proper notice of appeal can trigger an appeal.

They also noted the notice of appeal filed in Garissa High Court was not in the format as provided for in rule 6(5) of the Court of Appeal (Election Petition) Rules, 2017.

“It is also clear to the court that the purported notice is wanting as it seeks to challenge the whole of the judgment which is based on both facts and law contrary to section 85A of the Election Act,” noted the judges.

The petitioner filed notice of appeal at Garissa High Court and later filed a second notice of appeal in the Court of Appeal registry.

The judges however noted that the second notice did not form part of the record of appeal and was also similar to the first notice filed in Garissa which was completely wanting in form and content.

“As such, there would still be no valid notice of appeal, and filing of a supplementary record of appeal would not offer any healing balm,” noted the judges.

The judges upheld the preliminary objections filed by the Governor and the IEBC regarding the notice of appeal saying the record of appeal should be struck out on account of offending rules 6 and 8 of The Court of Appeal (Election Petition) Rules, 2017.

Adam moved to the court of Appeal after the high court upheld the election of Abdullahi.
He had alleged several illegalities and irregularities in the conduct of the elections, which included intimidation and misinformation of voters, gross discrepancies in the statutory forms, improper tallying and tabulation of results, failure to deploy KIEMS kits and inflation of vote numbers through the use of supervisor method of voter identification.

The Governor and IEBC denied all the allegations as was set out in the petition, maintaining that the elections were backed by an elaborate electoral management system in compliance with various electoral laws, which system included several layers of safeguards to ensure an open, transparent, participatory and accountable system to guarantee free and fair elections pursuant to the Constitution.

Upon hearing the petition, the trial court dismissed the petition with costs; and upheld the election of Abdullahi and Ahmed Muhumed Abdi as Governor and Deputy Governor respectively.
Aggrieved by that outcome, Adam filed the appeal on grounds that the gubernatorial elections were not conducted in accordance with the Constitution, or the requisite election laws and regulations, as there were several breaches of the law, which fatally affected the integrity of the election, and the trial court was in error in its findings.

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