The Court of Appeal has upheld the election win of Lamu Governor Fahim Twaha and dismissed an appeal by his predecessor Issa Timamy.
A three-judge bench headed by Alnasir Visram on Thursday dismissed Mr Timamy’s case in Mombasa, saying it lacked merit.
The judges said the Lamu gubernatorial election was substantially conducted in compliance with the law.
The judges dismissed all the 41 grounds of appeal, stating that no evidence was adduced to support claims of electoral malpractices, bias, marked ballot papers and denial of some voters their right to vote.
Mr Timamy also claimed that Mr Twaha’s deputy was a former employee of IEBC, thus unduly influenced the outcome of the poll but judges ruled that he did not prove that allegation.
They said they will not interfere with the judgement of High court Judge Dorah Chepkwony.
“We, like the learned judge, find that the appellant has not established that the irregularities alluded to affected the results of the elections, we also find that the election in question was conducted in substantially in compliance with the principles laid down in the Constitution and electoral code,” judge Visram ruled.
“Accordingly there was no basis for election court to interfere with election in question, accordingly we find that the appeal has no merit and is dismissed.”
The court, however, halved the costs of the case to be paid by the appellant from Sh12 million to Sh6 million.
The judges noted that costs are meant to compensate successful litigants and not a punishment or deterrent measure to scare away litigants from the doors of justice.
“We find that the award of Sh12 million was on the excessive side regardless of the witnesses who testified in the petition,” the judge ruled.
“Consequently, we interfere with the election court decision, which we find she did not exercise properly, and set aside the cost and substitute it with Sh3 million to be paid equally between the first and second respondent on the one part and the third and fourth respondents on the other as sufficient.:
The court ordered each party should bear its own costs of the case.
But Mr Timamy did not appear to be giving up just yet.
He said he was not satisfied with ruling and would proceed to Supreme Court to challenge Court of Appeal decision
The Court of Appeal judges, he said, overlooked evidence of electoral malpractices and violations of the law he had tendered in court.
“We have decided to move to the Supreme Court so that it can make a proper determination of the matter, we have already asked for a copy of the judgement for perusal for further considerations,” he said outside the court.
Mr Twaha struck a conciliatory tone and called for unity among the elected leaders and extended an olive branch to his opponent to join him in delivering his pledges.
“We are happy with the court’s decision. Court proceedings have affected service delivery to the residents but we thank God it’s now over, we call upon everyone to join us in transforming lives of the residents,” he said.