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Kenya: Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi loses poll petition appeal

Kenya: Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi loses poll petition appeal

Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi may be forced to go to the Supreme Court to fight for his seat after losing a poll petition appeal on Friday, April 20, 2018. PHOTO | BRUHAN MAKONG | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The battle for Wajir governor’s seat could be headed to the Supreme Court despite the Court of Appeal verdict that could have paved way for a by-election.

In their judgment on Friday, appeal judges Philip Waki, Milton Makhandia and Patrick Kiage ruled that Governor Mohamed Abdi should not have been cleared to contest for the seat for lack of a valid degree certificate.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission cleared him upon presenting a masters degree certificate from Kampala University but in the statutory self-declaration indicated his highest educational qualification as a bachelor’s degree.

The appeals court judges observed that Mr Abdi failed to appear before High Court judge Mabeya during the hearing of the petition to dispel claims that he did not have a valid undergraduate degree.

“The cavalier attitude by the appellant in the face of serious questions about his eligibility to vie for the seat of governor was compounded and rendered tragic by his choice to stay away from the proceedings and therefore not only fail to present his side of the story but also keep himself from being cross-examined on his replying affidavit, thereby robbing it of any probative value,” said the judges.

They ruled that Justice Mabaye committed no error in nullifying the election based on the questionable degree certificate from Kampala University.

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