Babu Owino defends his controversial poll win at Court of Appeal

April 23, 2018 9:26 am
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Owino had moved to the Court of Appeal to challenge the nullification of his election by Justice Joseph Sergon of the High Court on March 2 following a petition filed by his challenger, Jubilee Party’s Francis Mureithi/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 23 – An appeal challenging the nullification of Embakasi East lawmaker Babu Owino’s election is scheduled for hearing on Monday.

Owino had moved to the Court of Appeal to challenge the nullification of his election by Justice Joseph Sergon of the High Court on March 2 following a petition filed by his challenger, Jubilee Party’s Francis Mureithi.

During a mention of the appeal on April 5, Justice Mohamed Warsame set April 23 as the hearing date of the matter.

The appeal will be heard before a three-judge bench comprised of Justices Warsame, Kathurima M’Inoti and Daniel Musinga.

The election of Owino – a first-time lawmaker – during August 8, 2017, General Election had been invalidated by Justice Sergon after the court established that the poll was marred by irregularities.

Owino who was elected on an Orange Democratic Movement party ticket was found to have intimidated the Embakasi East Returning Officer.

Speaking at the Court of Appeal stationed at the Supreme Court building after April 5 mention, Owino said he had confidence in the Court of Appeal and the three-judge bench set to hear his matter.

“I have absolute confidence in this court. I would not wish to speak of Justice Sergon’s ruling because that is behind us for now,” he said.

“I am confident that my election will be upheld because I have no doubt the people of Embakasi East gave me the mandate to represent them at the National Assembly,” he added.

Babu’s appeal is among fifty-six filed against the annulment of elections of Members of National Assembly by High Courts.

So far, three appeals have been withdrawn at the Court of Appeal including one filed by former National Assembly Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim seeking the nullification of Garissa Township parliamentary election.

Maalim had contested the dismissal of his election petition against National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale by Justice Hedwig Ong’undi insisting Duale’s election was irregular.

Maalim’s was among 312 petitions dismissed in High Courts by March 6, 195 of them upon judgments and 117 upon rulings.

A total of forty petitions before High Courts spread across the country had been allowed as at March 6.

The 2017 General Election saw 388 petitions filed excluding presidential.

The petitions included 35 challenging elections of governors, fifteen contesting senatorial elections, twelve against Women Representatives, 98 against Members of the National Assembly and 139 against Members of County Assembly.

Eighty-nine party lists petitions were also filed, eighty of them at Magistrate Courts and nine at High Courts.

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