Minor errors shouldn't be used to nullify my election - Babu Owino

Nasa leader Raila Odinga, Embakasi East Babu Owino and Suna East MP Junet Mohammed at Milimani Law Courts for the hearing of his elections case, January 29, 2018. /WILLIAM MWANGI
Nasa leader Raila Odinga, Embakasi East Babu Owino and Suna East MP Junet Mohammed at Milimani Law Courts for the hearing of his elections case, January 29, 2018. /WILLIAM MWANGI

Embakasi East MP Babu Owino has asked a court to dismiss the petition against him as minor irregularities should not be used to nullify an election.

Owino and his rival Francis Mureithi will know their fate on March 2. Final submissions were made on Thursday.

"You cannot have a petition that makes 100 allegations of irregularities and proves only one, and on this ground, I pray that the petition is dismissed," Babu's lawyer Jackson Awele told Justice Joseph Sergon on Wednesday.

Awele added that the registrar's report declared the election was free and fair.

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The MP further noted that mathematical errors by IEBC officials cannot be used to nullify an election and that the petitioner did not raise any complaint of intimidation by presiding officers.

"I do not see how a presiding officer or IEBC clerk not having a chair to sit on during an election process can affect an outcome," the lawyer said.

He added that from the submissions, the election was conducted in accordance with the law and the minor irregularities did not affect the result.

Awele also submitted that the scrutiny report did not include a single comment on the effects of violence on any polling station.

"These were the stations which had the highest numbers of voters," he noted.

He added that the scrutiny showed Baby won by a big margin and that he was duly elected.

Lawyer and Siaya Senator noted that Mureithi asked for the scrutiny and recount that showed Babu won.

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Orengo added that the returning officer said no violence broke out inside the tallying centre.

He urged the court to note that some of Mureithi's witnesses lied to the court during trial and dismiss the petition in its entirety with costs.

However, Mureithi's lawyer Kiragu Kimani said the election should be nullified as it is not only about numbers.

"According to the constitution and Elections act, nullifying an election does not require the petitioner to establish his complaint or allegations," he told the court.

Kiragu further urged Justice Sergon to cancel the election since violence disrupted the voting process.