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Governor Muriithi's poll victory upheld, petitioner to pay Sh12 million

By Jacinta Mutura | Published Thu, February 1st 2018 at 00:00, Updated January 31st 2018 at 23:36 GMT +3
Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi (left) and his deputy John Mwaniki celebrate after the High Court in Nanyuki dismissed a petition challenging their August 8 election victory. [Jacinta Mutura, Standard]

The High Court in Nanyuki yesterday dismissed with costs a petition challenging election victory of Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi and his deputy John Mwaniki.

Justice Mary Kasango said petitioner Sammy Ndung’u could not prove his allegations that the election was riddled with malpractices.

In his petition, Mr Ndung’u had claimed that over 5,000 voters from Pokot community in Sossian Ward could not access polling stations due to a security operation that was being carried out by the Kenya Defence Forces.

He had also claimed that some votes were inflated in some polling stations in favour of Muriithi.

“The lawyers proved to court that Joshua Irungu (former governor) was overwhelmingly voted in Sossian Ward," read Kasango in her ruling.

Kasango also said Ndung’u could not prove that agents from the Jubilee Party were denied access to some polling stations.

Removed posters

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“During cross-examination, the petitioner confessed that no other agent from the party had claimed the allegations apart from him,” said Kasango.

In another allegation, Ndung’u had said that Muriithi did not qualify to run for the position, citing that he was using the posters bearing the images of Uhuru Kenyatta who was the presidential candidate of Jubilee Party.

However, Kasango said Muriithi removed the posters and was fined with Sh500,000 by the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal.

Ndung’u was ordered to pay Sh12 million, of which Sh4 million will to the IEBC and the county returning officer and Sh4 million each to Muriithi and Mwaniki.

Muriithi and his deputy welcomed the ruling.

 Wild allegation

“He was given every opportunity to prove his allegations but he could not prove any of them. No one has the right to violate the rights of others and the rights the people of Laikipia have been granted,” said Muriithi.

Muriithi said the claim that he engineered security operation to disfranchise the people of Laikipia North was a wild allegation.

Ndung’u said he would appeal the ruling in seven days.

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