- Njuguna Wanjiku
The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party Member of Parliament for Kiambaa constituency, Njuguna Wanjiku, may now breathe easy after a petitioner filed a request to have his petition challenging the MPs victory withdrawn.
The petition was filed by George Thata Ndia on July 29, 2021, through his lawyer Njoki Mboce seeking to nullify the UDA MP’s win in the hotly contested by-election that brought a fierce rivalry between Jubilee and UDA.
In his petition, Ndia argued that Jubilee candidate Kariri Njama was duly elected, adding that the election was marred by several malpractices leading to a wrong tally made by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
“There was no free and fair voting, counting, tallying, or totaling of the votes cast in the by-election conducted by the IEBC,” read the petition.An image of President Uhuru and Jubilee aspirant for the Kiambaa by-elections after a meeting on Thursday, July 08, 2021.Jubilee Party
Ndia stated that he was motivated to withdraw the petition in order for the people of Kiambaa to take part in the yet to be concluded voter registration exercise.
Appearing before Justice Grace Nzioka, the lawyer representing the IEBC, Julius Anyoka, and those of the other parties confirmed they had received a notice of the withdrawal.
“We wish to confirm that we were served with the intention to withdraw, however, we were ready to proceed," Anyoka stated.
The lawyer added that although they were served, it was procedural for the petitioner to first place an advert of his intended withdrawal in the newspapers before seeking to be heard.
Anyoka stated that the legal procedures of termination require the advert goes first before a request to allow or disqualify the intention to withdraw is heard and determined by the court.
“In the absence of the advert, it will be premature for us to proceed to hear the application for withdrawal," Anyoka stated.
In her judgment, Justice Grace Nzioka concurred that the intended withdrawal should be brought to public attention through a newspaper advert as stipulated in the constitution. She stated that the advert serves as an invite to the public to allow any other member of the public who may want to substitute the petitioner to revive the petition.
Justice Nzioka ordered that the advert should be out within 7 days before the request for withdrawal is heard and determined as it is a matter of public interest.
She also directed the Deputy Registrar to act expeditiously and approve the withdrawal to necessitate its publication in a newspaper of national reach. The case will be heard on November 12, 2021.
Through his lawyer, Hillary Sigei, Wanjiku supported Anyoka and added that the costs of withdrawal should also be addressed by the court in due course.
The IEBC declared that UDA’s Wanjiku floored his eight rivals garnering a total of 21,773 votes, which was a mere 510 votes more than Jubilee’s Njama who had a total of 21,263 votes.An image of John Wanjiku Njuguna alongside other UDA-affiliated legislators during the Kiambaa by-elections campaign on July 7, 2021.Kipchumba Murkomen
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