Shahbal alleges rigging as he files petition against Joho win

Suleiman Shahbal (left) who was contesting for the Mombasa County Governorship seat on a Wiper Democratic Party under the CORD Coalition and lost to Hassan Ali Joho of ODM, arrives at the Mombasa High Court with his lawyer William Wameyo (right in suit) to file his petition jointly with other party losers. Photo/GIDEON MAUNDU

What you need to know:

  • Judge declines to stop IEBC from gazetting governor-elect, but certifies case as urgent

Mombasa governor -elect Ali Hassan Joho is facing a new legal battle over his election just days after a voter went to court to block the electoral commission from gazetting him as winner of the county race.

Mr Suleiman Shahbal of the Wiper Democratic Movement yesterday asked a Nairobi court to permanently stop the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from gazetting Mr Joho as the Mombasa governor-elect.

He also wants the court to declare that the governor’s election was null and void and order a repeat.

Mr Shahbal wants the Mombasa County Returning Officer and IEBC commissioner Mwashigadi Mwadime barred from participating in the repeat election. He is seeking the orders through a petition filed yesterday at the High Court in Nairobi.

He claims that he is the duly elected Mombasa governor and accuses Mr Joho of engaging in electoral fraud.

Mr Shahbal filed the suit a day after a similar case was filed in the Mombasa High Court, where Mr Fredrick Ngesa Omondi — a voter — has also challenged Mr Joho’s election.

The IEBC declared Mr Joho the duly elected Mombasa governor with 132,583 votes, following the March 4 election. Mr Shahbal, who was second with 94,905 votes, claims the results were doctored due to connivance between the IEBC and Mr Joho.

He also cites the failure by the IEBC to electronically transmit results from polling stations to the tallying station, and accuses the commission of locking out voters from some polling stations, yet they were in the queue by the official closing time.

Pending determination of the petition, he has applied to the court to issue an interim injunction stopping the IEBC from confirming Mr Joho or gazetting him as the Mombasa governor.

However, Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi on Wednesday declined to issue any interim injunction, but certified the application urgent.

She asked Mr Shahbal’s lawyers to serve the IEBC, Mr Mwashigadi and Mr Joho with the application and directed Mr Joho’s lawyer, Mr Ahmednasir Abdullahi, to file his notice of appointment. The judge is to hear the application for interim injunctions this morning.

And, in Taita Taveta, three contestants who lost in last week’s elections have vowed to challenge in court the results declared by the electoral commission.

Mrs Jacinta Mwatela of the Wiper Democratic Movement who was vying for the governor’s seat has accused the returning officer of bungling the elections in favour of her opponent.

In a complaint lodged with the IEBC, Mrs Mwatela said she would head to the High Court once the results are gazetted.

Agents kicked out

In another case, Mr Basil Criticos of Restore and Build Kenya party has also gone to court to stop the gazettment of Dr Naomi Shaban as Taveta MP until “the ballots are recounted and the returning officer investigated”.

He claimed that his agents were kicked out of some polling and tallying centres as IEBC officials “took a tea break”.

URP Taveta parliamentary loser Mike Banton also said he had evidence to support his case against Dr Shaban’s victory.

Reported by Paul Juma and Jonathan Manyindo


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