, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 12 – Wajir Governor Ahmed Mohammed Abdi Mahamud on Thursday become the first Governor to lose his seat following a successful election petition.
Justice Alfred Mabeya said Mahamud was not validly elected because one, he did not have a degree certificate to vie for the seat and two, the election was marred by irregularities.
The Judge said Mahamud failed to turn up in court to counter claims the he did not have a degree.
He said coming to court for cross-examination was a good chance for him to rebut the allegations.
Justice Mabeya added that it was doubtful that the Governor would have obtained a master’s degree from Kampala University within six months.
The judge said a letter from Commission of University Education showing that the University was recognised by the Commission was not enough.
On irregularities, the judge faulted the returning officer for opening ballot boxes which had already been sealed contrary to the law.
The court noted that a huge number of voters in Wajir are illiterate and were assisted to vote.
He adjudged it was wrong for the presiding officers to ask voters to shout the name of their preferred candidate in that effort. He said this compromised the voting given the inter-clan rivalry.
Justice Mabeya further said that a scrutiny confirmed that many forms were not genuine because they did not have watermarks or were photocopies or print-outs.
He faulted the IEBC for failing to produce the original forms.
The court ordered a by-election to be held in accordance with the constitution and electoral laws.