NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 27 — The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Thursday challenged an election petition appeal contesting the election of Governor Salim Mvurya of Kwale.
In a preliminary objection by lawyer Paul Nyamodi, the agency told the Supreme Court that the petition by Suleiman Mwamlole Warrakah had not been certified as a matter of great public importance as set out in Article 163 (4) (b) of the Constitution.
The poll body also told the court that the petitioner did not raise a matter that required constitutional interpretation.
Under Article 163 (5), the Supreme Court has the leeway to affirm, vary, or overturn a certification of a matter as being of public importance by the Court of Appeal under Article 163 (4).
Warrakah, the petitioner, had challenged Mvurya’s election in last year’s gubernatorial election citing poll irregularities.
He however lost the petition backed by Mvurya’s opponent, Chirau Makwere, after the High Court in November strucked it out citing the failure if the petitioner to include Mvurya’s running mate in the suit.
Lady Justice Mugure Thande had termed the petition as “incompetent” as it fell short of the threshold for petition rules.
She had ordered the petitioner to pay Sh 2.5 million in costs.
Warrakah and Makwere however disputed the High Court ruling filing an appeal at the Court of Appeal.
Appellate judges Martha Koome, Wanjiru Karanja and Alnashir Visram however dismissed the appeal in May saying the application lacked merit.
Mvurya who had sought reelection on a Jubilee Party ticked after ditching the Orange Democratic Movement party was declared the winner in the election held on August 8, 2017, garnering a total of 119,680 votes.
Makwere who had resigned as Kenya’s envoy to Tanzania to seek the governorship on a Wiper Democratic Movement party ticket came in second place with 29,741 votes.
ODM’s Issa Chipera secured 28,727 votes.
The Appex court bench comprising of Chief Justice David Maraga, Justices Jackton Ojwang’, Isaac Lenaola, Smokin Wanjala, Mohammed Ibrahim, and Lady Justice Njoki Ndung’u will notify parties when the ruling for the election petition appeal is due.