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Babu Owino’s Victory To be Determined as Court Delivers Verdict on Vote Recount Application.

Owino’s Opponent Claimed there were Irregularities

  • A judge will today deliver a verdict on an application seeking scrutiny and recount of votes cast on August 8, 2017 in Embakasi East Constituency.
  • Mr Francis Mureithi, who lost to Mr Paul Ongili commonly known as Babu Owino claimed that it was hard determine whether the results in Forms 35A match with those in Form 35B.

Justice Joseph Sergon will today deliver a verdict on an application seeking scrutiny and recount of votes cast on August 8, 2017 in Embakasi East Constituency which was done by Mr Francis Mureithi, who lost to Mr Paul Ongili commonly known as Babu Owino. Mureithi said there are various sets of results contained in the forms, such that it is not clear who won the race.

Apparently, through his lawyer Ham Lagat, Mr Mureithi said the forms were illegible such that it was hard determine whether the results in Forms 35A match with those in Form 35B adding that the verification is important as there are errors in Form 35B.
Additionally, 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 which further raised concern. “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.
Consequently, Mr Lagat said the only way to determine the accurate and legible results for the election is through a recount of the votes.

Similarly to his argument, Lagat also told the Judge that there were instances of inflation of votes cast in favour of Mr Owino, and reduction of his client’s votes, adding that the Forms 35A did not have the official IEBC stamp, while others do not have signatures of the presiding officer of the polling stations.

Agreeing with the allegations, the lawyer said the results recorded and transmitted from polling stations to the constituency tallying centre at East Africa School of Aviation were not accurate. He said there was evidence of manipulation of the results in a number of polling stations and votes were added to Babu Owino.

For instance he gave examples of 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.

However, responding to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission admitted that there were errors in a number of forms, but those could not be the real reason for scrutiny. Mr Joseph Mele Eroo, the Nairobi county election manager, said the petitioner had not laid a basis for the court to order the scrutiny adding that lack of stamps in some of the statutory forms was not a basis for scrutiny in an election petition.

Similar to IEBC’s argument Mr Ongili, through his lawyer Jackson Awele, said absence of stamps in 44 random polling stations cannot be the basis for a recount adding that the petitioner cannot claim the poll was marred with irregularities without pointing at specific areas.

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