IEBC urges court to dismiss Kimani Ngunjiri's petition to overturn Bahati MP results

Former Bahati MP, Kimani Ngunjiri at a past event. The ex-MP has moved to court to challenge Irene Njoki's victory in the August 9 elections

Photo credit: John Njoroge | Nation Media Group

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has defended the outcome of the Bahati parliamentary election, saying voting was free and fair.

The IEBC was responding to a petition filed by former MP Kimani Ngunjiri. The agency argued that the August 9 poll followed the Constitution.

Urging the court to dismiss the petition, the IEBC said the results on all forms 35As were correct, authentic and verifiable and reflected the voters’ will.

“No clauses of the Constitution were contravened by any IEBC official as adequate measures were put in place to ensure the election was free, fair and transparent,” it said.

Bahati constituency returning officer George Karani also defended himself against allegations that he had committed illegalities and irregularities.

Mr Karani, in his affidavit before Justice Rose Ougo, said he declared Ms Irene Njoki winner based on votes tallied in the constituency and verified by the IEBC.

He dismissed claims that poll officers were compromised, arguing that clerks and other officers were hired in a transparent, competitive process. He challenged Mr Ngunjiri to produce evidence to show that he interfered with the election.

The returning officer also denied claims of voter intimidation, adding that he was not aware of any report made to security agencies about any such actions.

“There [were] no incidents before, during and after [the] election that qualify as election offence acts to warrant invoking Section 6(a) of the Elections Offences Act,” Mr Karani said.

Mr Ngunjiri is challenging the election of Ms Njoki, claiming voting was marred by massive irregularities.

The former MP, who vied under the United Democratic Alliance party, claims his loss to Ms Njoki (Jubilee) was not based on a free and fair process.

Ms Njoki garnered 34,308 votes against Mr Ngunjiri's 26,809.

Mr Ngunjiri cited election malpractices including voter bribery and intimidation.

He sued the IEBC, the constituency returning officer and Ms Njoki.

The matter will be mentioned on October 12 for further directions.

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