Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi survives petition, again

What you need to know:

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld his win and rejected the petition by his little known challenger, Sammy Ndung’u Waity, thereby ending the long battle.

Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi has emerged three times lucky and survived a protracted election petition scare.

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld his win and rejected the petition by his little known challenger, Sammy Ndung’u Waity, thereby ending the long battle.

Mr Waity had complained that Mr Muriithi was not validly elected because he resigned late from Jubilee Party and was therefore barred from contesting.

But the top court's judges, in a ruling rad by Smokin Wanjala, said the appeal simply rehashed the case Mr Waity lost at the Court of Appeal, so there was no reason to rule in his favour.

NOMINATION

The judges said they could not allow the petitioner, who was Jubilee's chief agent during nominations, to use the Supreme Court, to revisit the nomination issue.

Justice Wanjala said that being a chief agent, Mr Waity knew or ought to have known the issue and pursued it before the appropriate forum.

“On this basis and that of the principles we have set out. It goes without saying that both the High Court and the Court of Appeal were correct in declining to hear the issue of nomination,” he said.

THRESHOLD

The court also pointed out that although the case lacked the threshold to be heard by the top court, they addressed the issue of pre-election disputes.

It explained that such disputes cannot be matters for an election court if the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal handle it.

Justice Wanjala said other forums can only usurp the authorities of the IEBC and the tribunal if it shown that they did not exercise their mandates properly.

RESIGNATION

Mr Ndiritu resigned from Jubilee a few months to the election after losing the ticket to his predecessor Joshua Irungu.

He contested the governor seat as an independent candidate.

He was later accused of using portraits of President Uhuru Kenyatta in his campaign posters so the IEBC ordered him to remove them in48 hours and pay a fine of Sh500,000.

OTHER RULINGS

Earlier on Friday, the court upheld the election of Justus Kizito Mugali as Shinyalu member of parliament, saying there was no reason to overturn it.

The ruling followed a petition by former MP Silverse Anami; after the MP was elected in August 2017, Mr Anami and one Mr Adrian Meja turned to court alleging voter bribery and irregularities due to failure by the polls agency to ensure a free and fair process.

Mr Anami's petitions were dismissed at both the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti has also bounced back following a ruling by the same court on Thursday.

Judges faulted the High Court and the Court of Appeal for ignoring a report on the scrutiny and recount of votes that put Mr Awiti ahead of his political rival Oyugi Magwanga.

The top court said it was not possible to sustain the findings of the two courts without compromising the electoral rights of voters who took part in the August 8, 2017 election.

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