In Summary
  • The Supreme Court judges faulted High Court and Court of appeal for ignoring a report on scrutiny and recount of votes that put Mr Awiti ahead of his political rival Oyugi Magwanga.
  • The judges said the trial judge Joseph Karanja had no reference point for nullifying the election when he ignored the report prepared by the Deputy Registrar.

Governor Cyprian Awiti has bounced back in Homa Bay as Supreme Court upheld his election on Thursday.

The Supreme Court judges faulted High Court and Court of appeal for ignoring a report on scrutiny and recount of votes that put Mr Awiti ahead of his political rival Oyugi Magwanga.

Mr Awiti's lawyers told the Supreme Court that — despite acknowledging that Justice Joseph Karanja erred in law by completely failing to consider the scrutiny — the Court of Appeal still ordered the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct a fresh gubernatorial election.

“In the absence of the findings of the scrutiny report, the trial court had no reference-point in judging the magnitude of the impact of any electoral irregularity such as may have occurred, during the election,” the court said in a decision read by Justice JB Ojwang.

The court also found that it was improper that a parallel and competing sets of electoral papers were brought before the trial court and the court, without authenticating evidence, gave more weight to papers supplied by one of the parties, than the ones supplied by IEBC.

The top court aid it was not possible to sustain the findings of the two courts, without compromising the electoral rights of the voters who cast their votes on August 8, 2017.

They said a scrutiny enables, among other issues, the court to ascertain the valid votes cast in favour of each candidate and unearth new evidence to sustain the petition as well as enabling the court to verify the allegations made by the parties.

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