SECTIONS

Legislator loses his seat as top court saves six others

Wajir West MP Ahmed Kolosh after the Supreme Court ordered a by-election in his constituency yesterday. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Wajir West MP Mohamed Ahmed Kolosh yesterday lost his seat after Supreme Court found that the elections that handed him hisparliamentary position were marred with irregularities. 

Kolosh had bounced back in the Court of Appeal, but yesterday, the highest court in the land sealed his fate by ordering a fresh election.

He was the only one who lost amongst the seven who were awaiting their fate to be sealed by that court.

Manipulated

A six judge-bench composed of Chief Justice David Maraga, Justices Mohamed Ibrahim, Smokin Wanjala, Jackton Ojwang, Njoki Ndung’u and Isaac Lenaola unanimously agreed that votes were manipulated to favour Kolosh.

Kolosh had a 447-vote margin against Abdirahman Ibrahim Mohamed of Kenya National Union (Kanu), but if the votes which had been inflated were deducted, the results would have tilted the win in favour of the latter.

Through his lawyer Fred Ngatia, Abdirahman wanted the court to declare him as the winner but the judges found voters should go back to the ballot to elect a leader of their choice. On the flip side, Lamu Senator Anwar Loitiptip was the big winner of the day after making a comeback.

Anwar of the Jubilee Party had been dethroned on first appeal by Wiper’s Hassan Albeity. While affirming his win, the Supreme Court faulted the Court of Appeal, saying it acted beyond its powers when it admitted affidavits that had been expunged by the High Court.

“Annexures to an affidavit cannot be construed to be pleadings. We agree with the trial court that Court of Appeal ought not to have considered the issue of voting as pleaded during submissions. Court of appeal dealt with factual issues by admitting expunged affidavits which is against the law,” the court ruled in a decision read by Justice Njoki.

Embakasi East MP Babu Owino beat Jubilee’s Francis Muriithi for a second time after the court agreed that the complaints raised were not strong enough to convince the court otherwise.

Gatundu North, Luanda, Eldama Ravine and Marakwet East MPs Wanjiku Kibe , Moses Lessonet, Christopher Omulele and Bowen Kangogo retained their seats after the top court dismissed petitions filed against them.

“Not every election petition should pass through to this court. Some of the issues raised are out of the jurisdiction of the court,” the judges ruled.

A majority of those who had filed petitions hoped that the Supreme Court’s decision in favour of NASA’s Raila Odinga and against President Uhuru Kenyatta had created a fertile ground to have various wins declared null and void.

Compared to cases filed after the 2013 General Election, the number of cases filed after last year’s polls increased from 188 to 388.

At least 90 per cent of cases filed in court to challenge the 2017 election outcome were dismissed. Out of the 388 cases, only 44 were allowed by the High Court  and  magistrates courts. This translates to 10 per cent.

Thrown out

A further 56 per cent of appeals filed out of the verdicts have so far been dismissed. Only 17 per cent were allowed.

There were 209 appeals filed before the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and the High Court. Before the Court of Appeal, 20 appeals were withdrawn while 50 were thrown out.

Out of the appeals, 11 were allowed. Data gathered by Saturday Standard from the Judiciary indicates 98 cases were filed last year over parliamentary seats. A total of 12 cases were filed to challenge elected women representatives.

Yesterday, Abdirahman said the ruling was victory to Wajir West voters. “The judgement signals the return of decency in the corridors of justice. What took place at the Appeals court was a travesty of justice. I’m happy justice has been done,” he said.