Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi wins as court dismisses election petition

Wajir Governor Abdullahi Ahmed takes oath of office

Wajir Governor Abdullahi Ahmed takes his oath of office following the August 9, 2022. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The High court on Friday dismissed a petition challenging the win of Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi in last year's General Election.

Justice George Dulu upheld Mr Abdullahi’s election and dismissed a petition lodged by poll loser Adan Mohamed Hassan of Jubilee Party.

The judge, sitting at the High Court in Milimani, Nairobi, said the petitioner failed to demonstrate that Mr Abdullahi, who won on a ticket of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party, was not validly elected.

Justice Dulu dismissed claims that the governorship election was marred by irregularities and illegalities which benefitted Mr Abdullahi.

The judge ruled that the election was held in accordance with the Constitution and the law and that the exercise was fair.

Also thrown out were Dr Hassan’s claims that a large number of voters who cast their ballots were not identified using the Kenya Integrated Management System (KIEMS) kits. He was unable to demonstrate to the court how the said voters managed to cast their ballot papers without being identified using the electronic kits.

Dr Hassan, who is former National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) chief executive, vied for the governor's seat under Jubilee Party and garnered 27,224 votes against Mr Abdullahi’s 35,533.

Other candidates in the contest were Mr Ahmed Mukhtar of UDA, who finished third with 21,859 votes, Mohamed Elmi who vied as anindependent candidate with 21,047 votes, Abdullahi Ali of UDM wwho got 15,486 votes and ANC’s Ugas Shikh who got 8,086 votes.

The elections’ dispute court found the vote met the constitutionally acceptable threshold, dismissing the allegation that it was marred by irregularities and violence.

The petitioner had alleged that violence was orchestrated in Wajir East, on the eve of election day, to suppress voter turnout.

Dr Hassan sought nullification of Mr Abdullahi's election on grounds that there were gross discrepancies in election results Form 37A. He said the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) should not have declared Mr Abdullahi the winner of the contest.

The petitioner further alleged that the total votes cast at some polling stations were more than the total voter turnout captured by the KIEMS kits.

He further alleged that there were discrepancies noted in Eldas and Wajir east constituencies, that Mr Abdullahi was not validly elected as governor for Wajir county and that the IEBC did not put in place mechanisms to ensure voters were biometricaly identified before being allowed to vote.

The petitioner further claimed there was exaggeration of voter turnout, irregular and unlawful assisted voting and unlawful ejection of his agents from several polling stations in Wajir East and Wajir West.

He added that there were cases of multiple voting and that the IEBC, through its presiding officers, irregularly authorised the said voters to cast their ballots without being biometrically identified by the KIEMS kits. 

"As a result, 1,206 voters were unlawfully and irregularly authorised to vote in various polling stations, among them Qara, Welathi, Adan Awale, to the benefit of Ahmed and to my detriment," he said.