NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 23 – The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has invalidated all nomination certificates issued in Western and Nyanza provinces over irregularities and suspended National Elections Board (NEB) Commissioner James Ogundo.
A statement from NEB chairman Franklin Bett said that the decision was reached following irregularities in issuance and distribution of the nomination certificates by the county representatives particularly from Nyanza region.
“I have also removed from office some members of staff suspected to have been involved in the irregularities. This will also affect Western Province. I have invalidated therefore, those certificates previously issued and will personally issue fresh ones to replace those,” said Bett in the statement.
Bett has also cautioned party aspirants and members of the public against conmen’ who have been duplicating signatures of its top officials and issuing certificates.
He said that conmen have been preying on unsuspecting aspirants giving them fake certificates that bear his forged signature, that of NEB Secretary Judith Pareno and that of ODM’s Executive Director Janet Ong’era, who are the official signatories.
He has warned that those in receipt of such certificates that their names will not be on the list presented to the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
“I wish to make it clear that the ODM certificate shall only be issued to winners and at no cost at all,” said the chairman.
Bett has urged the aspirants not to be overly anxious as the board was working on mechanisms to produce authentic documents to the aspirants which cannot be duplicated by anyone.
“I urge our beloved aspirants to be patient. We shall work round the clock to ensure that the winners are issued with their certificates on time before the IEBC deadline of the 29th of January 2013,” added the Roads Minister.
He said certificates issued should bear his original signature and those of the two other signatories and that no one should accept a certificate bearing a signature which is scanned or duplicated.
Bett said he has forwarded the names of the persons suspected to be behind the syndicate to the police for investigations and possible arrests.
He urged party supporters to remain calm and maintain the discipline that ODM is known for as the matter is sorted out.
He has also announced that the list of all the aspirants will be made public before end of Wednesday.