Inspect Mary Wambui papers, poll loser pleads with court

A poll case petitioner wants Othaya MP Mary Wambui’s academic papers produced in court.

Peter King’ara, who was narrowly beaten by Wambui, also wants the court to order a recount of votes in all polling stations.

Through his lawyers Kyalo Mbobua and Kithenji Marete, King’ara told Justice Jairus Ngaah that the court should scrutinise the documents to find out if Wambui qualified to vie for the seat.

King’ara made the application during the petition in which he is challenging the election of Wambui.

Mbobua told the court that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had not sufficiently addressed the discrepancies in the tally as cited by the petitioner.

“In the estimates of the petitioner, the IEBC’s explanation has not met the legal threshold, and a recount is, therefore, necessary to determine the true and accurate results,” Mbobua said.

Recount of votes
Mbobua added IEBC ought to support scrutiny and recount of votes if it believes that the elections were credible and there is nothing to hide.

“We are concerned why Othaya Returning Officer is vehemently opposed to recount of votes, yet the essence of the exercise is to establish the truth of this election,” he said.

Lawyer Gideon Kibet, for IEBC, opposed the application on grounds that the petitioner’s evidence was scanty and did not necessitate a recount. “The petitioner has not tendered sufficient evidence to establish that indeed 4,600 votes were lost,” Kibet said.

Lawyer Cecil Miller, who is representing Wambui, argued that the application had not only come late but granting it would breach the procedure of the proceedings.

“I oppose the application in the strongest words possible because the court must first consider the evidence before it before granting or denying the petitioner’s prayer,” Miller said.

Citing a ruling by Justice Ngaah on May 24, Marete argued that the scrutiny and recount of votes is a fundamental issue in election petitions and can emerge at any stage of the petition.

Both IEBC and Wambui’s lawyer also opposed an application by King’ara for Wambui to furnish the court with her academic credentials.

Kibet told the court that the post-secondary certificates were not required for parliamentary candidate’s approval.

This article was published by THE STANDARD on July 22, 2013