Lagdera petition: Scrutiny reveal massive electoral malpractices
NAIROBI—A scrutiny exercise ordered by the Court has revealed widespread discrepancies in the Lagdera Constituency election petition challenging the declaration of ODM’s Abdikadir Hussein Mohamed as the victor.
The inspection, scrutiny and recount was carried out at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Warehouse at Nairobi’s Industrial Area under the supervision of the Deputy Registrar, Milimani Constitutional and Human Rights Division.
On Monday, Justice Cherere directed IEBC to avail all election materials, including the Kiems kit and polling station diaries from eight contested polling stations. The affected polling stations are: Afweny Centre 1, Afweny Centre 2, Afweny Primary School, Bullo Centre, Benane Primary School 1, Benane Primary School 2, Benane Secondary School 1 and Benane Secondary School 2.
The exercise revealed significant inconsistencies ranging from suspected ballot stuffing to tampering of the materials.
For instance, the polling diary for Afwenye Centre 1 contained details that were contrary to what the IEBC officials stated in their affidavits. During the trial, the electoral officials denied incidents of violence that could have justified the intervention of the police.
UDA’s Abdiqani Saytun, the main petitioner, urgued that his agents were removed from the polling stations under unclear circumstances.
However, on Wednesday at the IEBC warehouse, it was found in the polling diary that the Presiding Officer (PO) recorded happenstance of violence in the centre. The PO, according to the diary, called for police reinforcement after the officers present at the time of incident “were overpowered.”
The scruitiny exercise also revealed that some of the ballot boxes contained more votes that what the Kiems kit captured.
In Bullo Centre, violence was recorded on the polling diary. Also, more ballot papers were found in the boxes than what the Kiems kit captured.
In Banane Primary 1 polling station, the Court recorded that the Kiems kit were tampered with, a move contrary to the Monday ruling which directed that the gadgets “will be confined to “read only.” The exercise further revealed that counterfoils were not found in some of the sealed ballot boxes, and a number of envelopes were not secured.
Similarly, the Kiems kit data indicates that all the registered 325 voters cast their votes, but when the boxes were opened for scrutiny, it was found that not all the voters actually cast their vote on the 9th of August, 2022.
In Afweny centres, it was recorded that the number of voters captured in the Kiems were not corresponding to the number of ballot papers in the box. In some polling stations, the scrutiny revealed that voting was still ongoing three days after the lapse of the voting deadline. The inspection, scrutiny and recount of the election materials has since been concluded awaiting determination.
An election court trying the Lagdera Constituency petition has allowed an amendment to include the The Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) kits in the poll materials slated for scrutiny in the contested polling stations.https://t.co/0qbYBfhjgx
— Kulan Post (@kulanpost) February 7, 2023
Polling Station Diaries contain vital information of all activities on the polling day and provides an accurate source of comparison with what is contained in the ballot boxes. It also captures the serial numbers of all the seals used to secure the ballot boxes, the serial number of the first and last ballots cast, the time of opening and closing of the Polling Station, incident reports, identity of political party agents present at opening and closing of the polling stations.