Babu Owino trounces rival at Supreme Court, retains Embakasi East MP seat
Published on: January 18, 2019 05:40 (EAT)
The Supreme court has upheld the election of Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino as the Embakasi East Member of Parliament. In the ruling, the court found no reason to to interfere with the Court of Appeal decision. While dismissing an appeal by petitioner Francis Mureithi, the judges said the Appellate Court could not be faulted with the way it evaluated evidence. In March 2018, the High Court in Nairobi had nullified the election of Babu Owino. In his ruling Justice Joseph Sergon indicated that Babu Owino was not validly elected further directing that a by- election be conducted in accordance to the law. The court further ordered that Babu Owino and IEBC pay the petitioner Francis Mureithi, Ksh.2.5 million each. Owino then filed a notice of appeal on March 7, saying he was dissatisfied with the decision of Justice Sergon as he erred in law in nullifying the election without sufficient evidence. He stated that the High Court judge “ignored the relevant and binding legal standards for the evaluation of evidence in election petitions and in so doing ascribed excessive weight to irrelevant and weak evidence.” The opposition legislator further claimed that Justice Sergon erred in law by ordering scrutiny and recount of votes in the entire constituency then nullifying the election on the basis of “trivial arithmetic errors.” In June 2018, the Appeal court however overturned the decision of the High Court and upheld his election. In his ruling, Justice Mohammed Warsame further dismissed allegations that the Returning Officer was under pressure to declare Owino as the winner. “We can’t understand how Babu Owino intimidated the RO and how pressure affected the results,” ruled Justice Warsame. On Friday, the Supreme Court also upheld the election of Chris Omulele (Luanda MP) and Moses Lessonet (Eldama Ravine MP). While dismissing an appeal by petitioner Arthur Apungu Kibar against Omulele, the court ruled that: “We cannot interfere with the Court of Appeal decision therefore we shall not touch it,” read the ruling in part. In the Eldama Ravine case, the court cited lack of evidence in an appeal by petitioner Musa Sirma, a former MP.