Supreme Court upholds election of Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi

Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi

Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi before the Senate County Public Accounts Committee at KICC, Nairobi on Thursday, May 18, 2023.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition challenging the election of Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi and his deputy Ahmed Muhumed Abdi.

The petition was filed by Dr Hassan Mohamed Adam.

The Supreme Court's decision is in line with an earlier ruling by the Court of Appeal, which had also struck out a similar petition on the grounds that it violated Rule 6 of the Court of Appeal (Election Petition) Rules, 2017, which requires all appeals to be initiated by a notice of appeal.

On Friday, Supreme Court judges Martha Koome, Philemona Mwilu, Njoki Ndungu, Isaac Lenaola and William Ouko upheld the Court of Appeal's decision.

Appeal judges Daniel Musinga, Hellen Omondi and Ngenye Macharia had initially dismissed Dr Adam's appeal on the grounds that it was not properly lodged.

Dissatisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeal, Dr Adam, through his lawyers Kioko Kilukumi, Paul Nyamodi and Issa Mansur, appealed to the Supreme Court, which has jurisdiction to hear appeals under Article 163 (4) (a) of the Constitution.

Article 163 (4) (a) allows an appeal to the Supreme Court as a matter of right in cases involving the interpretation or application of the Constitution.

"Having considered the appeal, the notice of motion and the respective submissions of the parties thereto as made on record by their respective counsel, we find no justifiable reasons to interfere with the judgment of the Court of Appeal," reads part of the judgment.

It added: "Accordingly, the appellant's appeal is hereby dismissed with costs against the respondents.

Earlier this year, Dr Adam was dealt a major blow when the High Court upheld the election of Governor Abdullahi.

The petitioner had alleged several illegalities and irregularities in the conduct of the elections, including intimidation and misinformation of voters, gross discrepancies in statutory forms, improper counting and tabulation of results, failure to use KIEMS kits and inflation of vote totals through the use of the supervisor method of voter identification.

The Governor and the IEBC denied all the allegations set out in the petition, claiming that the elections were supported by a sophisticated electoral management system in accordance with various electoral laws.

After hearing the petition, the Tribunal dismissed the petition with costs and upheld the election of Governor Abdullahi and Ahmed Muhumed Abdi as Governor and Deputy Governor respectively.

Aggrieved by this outcome, Dr Adam filed the appeal on the grounds that the gubernatorial election was not conducted in accordance with the Constitution or the relevant electoral laws and regulations, as there were several violations of the law that fatally compromised the integrity of the election, and that the trial court erred in its findings.

In the last election, Governor Abdullahi, who ran on the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) ticket, polled 35,533 votes against Dr Adam, who polled 27,224 votes on the Jubilee Party ticket.