The High Court in Garissa has overturned a ruling that upheld the election of county assembly minority leader and Abakaile MCA Mohamed Ali in early February.
Judge George Dullu said the magistrate erred by failing to order the scrutiny of votes because the victory margin was ‘very narrow’. Ali ran on an ODM ticket and garnered 1,826, while Abdiwahab Sheikh of ANC got 1,799.
Sheikh went to court to challenge the win, citing failure by the IEBC to display votes to agents during counting. In his ruling, Dullu said sufficient basis was laid to warrant scrutiny.
In dismissing the case, chief magistrate Cosmas Maundu said the evidence could not sustain the case and election officials failed to empty ballot boxes before voting, among other irregularities.
Dullu said the election was not verifiable. Speaking to the press outside the court, Sheikh expressed his delight at the ruling.
Ali was with his lawyer Humprey Manyange. He said they respect the court’s ruling but will challenge it at the Court of Appeal. “The High Court made its decision, but we feel as the people of Abakaile the ruling will subvert the will of the people.”
Manyange accused the judge of not restricting himself to his mandate. Ali has 14 days to appeal.
A record 277 petitions arising from the August 8 polls were filed in courts nationwide.
A master document to court registrars and their deputies showed most seats targeted in the petitions were held by Jubilee. The petitioners who lost the August polls vied under NASA parties or those allied to Jubilee.