IEBC, Bahati MP seek Sh5m from poll loser for petition withdrawal

Bahati MP Irene Njoki (centre) celebrates with her supporters after she was declared winner in the August elections. [Harun Wathari, Standard]

Bahati MP Irene Njoki is seeking Sh2.5 million compensation for costs she incurred in an election petition filed by her predecessor Kimani Ngunjiri.

The IEBC has also applied for Justice Rose Ougo to award them Sh2.5 million in the same petition.

This is after Ngunjiri who vied on UDA ticket applied to withdraw a petition he filed on September 9, challenging Njoki’s win.

In her submission, Jubilee’s Njoki through lawyer Issa Mansour claims that she invested her time and resources in the case. She adds that she hired lawyers who appeared on her behalf in the case.

Njoki told the court that she had lined up five witnesses to back her win in the August elections.

“We incurred costs when we filed our replies and five affidavits in response to the petition. We also spent money for transport, internet and attendances by lawyers,” submits Mansour.

Njoki submits that the Election Act provides that the court may grant leave to withdraw the petition on terms that the petitioners pay costs for the case.

The lawmaker, however, does not raise any objection to Ngunjiri’s application to withdraw the petition.

Former Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri. [Harun Wathari, Standard]

On its part, IEBC through lawyer Michael Muchemi is also seeking Sh2.5 million as costs.

“We filed a response and six affidavits, between September 22 and October 6 and we paid for the filing,” says Muchemi.

In his application, Ngunjiri said he did not intend to pursue the petition for the good of Bahati Constituency.

Ngunjiri deposed that it was time to move on with his life without the “hassle and rigorous pursuit” of a petition which he said was stressful and time-consuming.

“Having served for 10 years, it is time to let go and pursue other goals as well as have a peaceful time in my golden years,” he said.

He noted that since he filed for withdrawal in good faith and early, the court should not condemn him to pay the hefty cost.

“I saved the court’s time... I should be condemned to only pay Sh150,000,” submitted Ngunjiri.

He had sued Njoki, the IEBC, and Bahati Constituency Returning Officer, claiming that the election was marred with irregularities and should be nullified and another election ordered.