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High Court nullifies Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi’s election

By Faith Karanja | Published Fri, January 12th 2018 at 14:44, Updated January 12th 2018 at 15:19 GMT +3
Wajir County Governor Mohamed Abdi  (centre), his deputy Ahmed Ali Muktar (left) at a past event. He lost  the governorship Friday January 12 in petition filed by former governor Ahmed Abdullahi. [File picture]

The Court has nullified the election of Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi in a successful petition by former Wajir governor Ahmed Abdullahi.

Delivering the ruling in Nairobi Friday, Judge Alfred Mabeya found that Abdi failed to produce original academic forms which means he was not validly elected.

Abdi was also slapped with a Sh2 million cost.

Mabeya added that Abdi was not validly cleared to vie for the seat of Governor for Wajir County as he did not possess the educational qualifications.

“Abdi was not validly elected to the position of Governor and his election hereby declared null and void,” said Mabeya.

The judge said the governor failed to turn up in court to rebut claims the he did not have a degree.

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He said coming to court for cross examination would have been a good chance for him to rebut the allegations.

Justice Mabeya added that it was doubtful that the governor would have obtained a master’s degree from Kampala University within six months.

The judge said a letter from Uganda’s Commission of University Education showing that the university was recognised by the commission was not enough.

On irregularities, the judge faulted the returning officer for opening ballot boxes which had already been sealed contrary to the law.

Justice Mabeya further said that a scrutiny confirmed that many forms were not genuine because they did not either have watermarks or were either photocopies or printouts.

Former Wajir governor Ahmed Abdullahi moved to court on September 8, 2017, seeking to nullify the election on the grounds that Mohamed did not meet the qualifications required to be governor.

Ahmed and another petitioner, Muhumed Abdi, averred that the governor falsified his academic documents and he either concealed, falsified or altered the documents when he filed the self-declaration forms at the EACC.

The two alleged that the concealing of his qualifications demonstrated that Abdi lacked integrity.

The two petitioners also disputed the election outcome, saying the tallying of votes was incorrect and contained serious errors.

Justice Mabeya further said that a scrutiny confirmed that many forms were not genuine because they did not either have watermarks or, were either photocopies or printouts.

The court ordered a by-election to be held in accordance with the constitution and electoral laws.

 


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