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Court told 31 polling stations in Wajir contest had irregularities

North Eastern
 Dr Hassan Mohamed testifies at the Milimani Law Courts during the hearing of the petition against Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi Jiir. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

A Wajir County governorship candidate in the August 9 elections has told the court that there were irregularities in at least 31 polling stations.

In his testimony against Governor Ahmed Abdullahi Jiir and the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission, Dr Hassan Mohamed told an election court that the August 9 contest was not free and fair over irregularities in the polling stations he had listed before the court.

Mohamed, who testified before Justice George Dulu on Thursday and Friday morning claimed that the election in Wajir was against the Constitution and the election law. "We are challenging the entire irregularities that happened across the county," said Dr Mohamed.

At the same time, he claimed there was intimidation and misinformation, discrepancies in the results and declaration forms, and illegalities and irregularities, including voters that were supervised to cast their ballots in favour of certain candidates. According to Mohamed, his agents, and supporters were misinformed about clans and therefore failed to vote for him.

He asserted that if the court deducted the votes he claims to be invalid, then, the governor's win would be invalidated. At the same time, he argued that the postponement of the election in some parts of the county affected the voter turnout. According to him, there were incidents where voters were coerced to vote.

"As a consequence of this unlawful postponement, there was interference with the voting held on August 10 with cases of intimidation and coercion of voters in several polling stations in Eldas constituency," he said.

 Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi Jiir takes the oath of office in August 2022. [File, Standard]

How clan politics in the area led to unfair poll also emerged in the case. According to Mohamed, the governor could not have garnered at least 90 percent of the votes in Wajir West constituency as the governor clan is 60 per cent of the population while the rest comprising 40 percent did not vote for him.

Those who backed Mohamed's case that the win should be quashed are senatorial candidates in the August election Ibrahim Mohamud, also known as Ibrahim Sheikh, Ahmed Bashir and Mohamed Yaqub.

Others are Jubilee Party chief agent Adan Ibrahim who was an agent of a Member of County Assembly at Quara ward and Abdullahi Mohamed who was an agent in Faryar center.

Others are Abdirahman Adan, Guliye Khalif, Maash Abdi, Ahmed Nur, Osman Khalif, and Maash Abdi.

Maash, who testified on the fifth day of the hearing told the court that he was an agent of Mohamed. He testified that voting started very late at 11.30 am and allegedly ended at 5.00 pm. Thereafter, the court heard, voters were ejected from the polling stations. On the other hand, the governor argues that he won fair and square.

According to him, there is no valid case, other than claims that cannot be validated.

According to him, the election reflects the will of the Wajir people and was a result of a peaceful election throughout the country. He urged the court to dismiss the case.

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