Wajir County Governor Mohamed Abdi has lost his seat after high court nullified his win.
While delivering the judgment, Justice Alfred Mabeya ruled that the Governor did not have the appropriate academic qualification required to run for office.
The therefore ruled that Abdi was not legally cleared to run for office.
Justice Mabeya said that the Governor failed to prove that ‘his degree’ was valid.
He added that as of regards to the masters degree in Diplomacy and International Relations, the court took judicial notice that one cannot obtain a master’s degree before obtaining a bachelors one.
“As of 3rd September 2014, the first respondent had not yet graduated with any degree, therefore, it is not possible that he would have obtained a master’s degree six months later on 12th March 2015,” the judge ruled.
The judge added that the petitioners, former Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi and Muhumed Abdi proved the qualification allegation to the required standard.
“In my view, the first respondent failed to show that he had actually obtained the two degrees from Kampala University,” said the judge.
Governor’s failure to attend court
Justice Mabeya also took notice that although the Governor had the opportunity to either deny or challenge the allegations, he did not do so in his replying affidavit and also failed to appear in court to shed light on the issue.
He added that the totality of irregularities that were proved were so grave that they not only affected the credibility of the election but also the results of the election itself.
On the issue of irregularities, the judge faulted the returning officer for opening ballot boxes that had already been sealed, contrary to the law.
The court noted that a huge number of voters in Wajir are illiterate and were assisted to vote.
Justice Mabeya ruled that it was wrong for the presiding officers to ask assisted voters to shout the name of the candidate they were to vote for.
This therefore shows that there was irregular and unprocedaral assistance of voters which compromised the voting,” ruled the judge.
In his judgement, the judge also awarded two million shillings to the petitioners as costs.
He also ordered a by-election to be held in accordant with the election laws and the constitution.
In the petition, Ahmed and Muhumed wanted the court to nullify the election of Abdi on grounds that the election was marred by massive irregularities
Through lawyers Omwanza Ombati and Jesse Oduor, the two claimed that the governor and/or his people used violence and intimidated their agents and the integrity if the process was undermined therefore affecting the outcome of the election
The petitioners argued that the constitutional and statutory disqualification of the Governor to contest in the elections means his nomination as a candidate and subsequent election was invalid, null and void.