Respondents oppose application for scrutiny of votes

Respondents to a petition filed by Sammy Ndungu against the election of Governor Nderitu Muriithi vigorously opposed the application for scrutiny of votes in Sossian ward in Laikipia North.

Lawyer for Independent Electoral and Boundaries Comission (IEBC), Bush Wanjala, lawyer Cecil Kuyo representing the governor and Lawyer, Mwangi Njengo representing Deputy Governor, John Mwaniki cited lack of sufficient basis of filing the application.

Wanjala observed that the issue of results never featured in the hearing of the petition hence the application for scrutiny of the votes in Sossian ward should not be admitted in the high court.

Petitioner only raised issue of insecurity in the region which intimidated members of Pokot community and that has nothing to do with votes, Wanjala pointed out.

On his part Kuyo observed that in the petition there was no question of invalidity of votes whether in terms of inflation or deflation in favour of a particular candidate in Sossian ward.

In the petition, the petitioner had raised issue of narrow margin of victory hence need for scrutiny of the votes which Njengo responded by saying that a difference of 2,007 votes cannot be termed as a narrow margin.

The three also opposed the application on the ground that it was filed after the hearing was concluded which is against the election Act.

Section 82(1)of election Act allow filing of application during the hearing and not after hearing and therefore the petitioner is on fishing expedition for new evident in his petition and is against the Act and therefore the application should not be admitted,Njengo noted.

Ramathan Abubakar, Lawyer representing the petitioner supported his application by arguing that the scrutiny of votes in Sossian ward would help in determining whether there were irregularities.

The scrutiny of the votes will also help the High Court determine the exact number of valid votes cast and those awarded to each candidate, Abubakar observed.

The hearing of the case in which the win of Nderitu against former Governor Joshua Irungu is being contested for in Nanyuki High Court was concluded last week however, Ndungu applied for scrutiny of votes in Sossian ward.

The Nanyuki Resident Judge, Justice Mary Kasango scheduled the ruling on the application on December 13, 2017.

Source: Kenya News Agency