Blow for Babu Owino as court orders recount of votes in the entire Embakasi East

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Embakasi East MP Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino has suffered another blow after High Court ordered for scrutiny and recount of votes in the whole of his constituency.

While delivering the ruling, Justice Joseph Sergon said that he was satisfied that the petitioner, Jubilee’s Francis Mureithi had given sufficient reasons to warrant a recount.

“Parties agreed there were some errors during the tallying of the results.┬áIn my view this is a case where scrutiny should be granted,” ruled Sergon.
Justice Sergon made the order following a petition filed by Francis Mureithi challenging the election of Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino as MP.

While making his findings, the judge pointed out that the Embakasi East returning officer Nicholas Butuk had admitted in court that the results he announced did not tally with the ones in the Form 35A and that there were many errors in the forms.

The respondents had objected the application for scrutiny saying that the petitioner had specified the specific polling stations he sought recount for.

They argued that a blanket order should not be granted since some of the polling stations were not among those said to have issues in the petition.

The judge did not however find anything wrong with the general or blanket order sought by Mureithi.

“It is not fatal to the petitioner to seek for a general or blanket order. The objection is therefore overlooked,” Justice Sergon said.

Through lawyers Ham Lagat and Kiragu Kimani, Mureithi had filed an application for scrutiny and recount of votes cast during last year’s election.

He said the forms were not legible making it difficult to determine whether the results in Forms 35A corresponded those in Form 35B.

The lawyer said the results recorded and transmitted from polling stations to the constituency tallying centre at East Africa School of Aviation were inaccurate.

Embakasi Social Hall, Embakasi Social Hall, Embakasi Primary School, Edelvale Primary School, Edelvale Primary School and Soweto Social Hall are among the stations cited to have had irregularities.

The judge directed the scrutiny and recount be carried out in the presence of the Deputy Registrar and three agents for each party.

The matter will be mentioned on 26th February for final submissions.