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Babu Owino to appeal election case loss

Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, also known as Paul Ongili, on Friday joined the ranks of youthful legislators whose wins have been cancelled.

High Court judge Joseph Sergon ruled that Mr Owino’s election was marred by violence and systemic irregularities.

Justice Sergon ruled that the petitioner, Mr Francis Mureithi of Jubilee Party, had proven the entire exercise was marred by violence, intimidation and other electoral malpractices.

“Considering all the evidence tendered before me, I find that elections in Embakasi East were not free and fair as the entire process was dotted with violence occasioned by the voters and supporters of Mr Owino,” Justice Sergon ruled.

BRUNT OF VIOLENCE

He said an aspirant, Mr Joseph Obiede of the Amani National Congress Party (an affiliate of the Nasa coalition), bore the brunt of the violence as he was injured and admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital’s intensive care unit.

The court ordered Mr Owino to pay both the petitioner and IEBC Sh2.5 million each.

However, the former university student leader said he would appeal the judgement.

Mr Owino said he would heed the Court of Appeal’s final decision, but he was confident he would win should there eventually be a repeat election.

“I am sure of winning the repeat polls even if it will be a contest  between me and the top leadership of the Jubilee Party,” he said. Mr Owino is facing a number of other cases.

Meanwhile, Justice Cecilia Ng’etich upheld the win of Embakasi North MP James Gakuya. The judge ruled that the petitioner, Ms Jane Wangui, failed to call any of her agents to prove claims that they were barred from accessing polling stations.

NO VIOLATION

The judge noted that there was no systemic, substantial and widespread violation of the electoral laws as alleged by the petitioner.

Irregularities were only found in four polling stations, but the judge said even if the votes were to be subtracted from Mr Gakuya’s final tally, he would still be leading by a big margin.

She said the court ought to be cautious and not alter the will of the people by nullifying the outcome because of minor irregularities.