I won seat fairly, Aden Duale tells court
5 months ago, 11 Jan 23:27
Garissa MP Aden Duale on Thursday defended his parliamentary seat win, saying it was fair, and claims of irregularities by former MP Farah Maalim have not been proved. While asking the court to dismiss Mr Maalim’s petition and award him costs of Sh5 million, Mr Duale, through lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi, said the law demands that the person who alleges must prove his claims. He said Mr Maalim made a plethora of allegations not backed by evidence. He told Justice Hedwig Ong’udi that although Mr Maalim claims anomalies in forms 35A, he failed to challenge the results contained in the said forms. He added that the refusal or failure by a candidate or an agent to sign a declaration form, or to record the reasons for the refusal to sign, cannot by itself invalidate the results. MORE VOTERS Mr Duale, who is also the National Assembly majority leader, defended the appointment of returning officer Boru Duba, saying it was done procedurally. Mr Maalim challenged Mr Duale’s election, saying in some polling stations, the votes exceeded number of registered voters. He cited Kefri centre polling station 02, which has 554 registered voters but 938 voters cast their votes on August 8, 2017. Others are Young Muslims primary school with 544 registered voters but 948 people allegedly voted and Iftin primary school where 704 voters cast their votes yet there are 496 registered voters. He has also questioned the difference in the number of voters captured in the Kiems kits and those captured in Form 35A. Electoral commission lawyer Issa Mansur, while defending Mr Duale’s win, said the petitioner has failed to demonstrate that the election did not meet legal thresholds. APPOINTMENTS The Garissa MP denied influencing the appointments of the presiding officers and their deputies. Instead, he said it was his rival who had sent a list of persons he wanted to be considered for appointment. Mr Duale also said there was no evidence that he campaigned on the election day as alleged. Mr Ahmednasir told the court that the campaigns ended on Saturday, August 5, 2017 and no one adduced evidence on behalf of the petitioner that she or he was an agent and was ejected from any polling station as claimed by Mr Maalim. The court will give its judgment on February 27.
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