21 September 2017

Kenya: Babu Owino Risks Losing MP Seat After Failing to Respond to Petition

Nairobi — A Jubilee aspirant for the Embakasi East parliamentary seat who filed a petition challenging the election of Babu Owino now wants the court to order the petition conceded.

Francis Mureithi who filed the petition on September 5 through Ham Lagat and Associates Advocates, filed the notice of motion on Wednesday arguing that Owino and two other respondents have failed to respond within seven days of service contrary to the law.

The advocate for the petitioner argues in the notice that the respondents were served with the petition on September 8, their failure to debunk the petition meaning that it is undefended and unopposed.

"The respondents have refused, neglected and failed to file their notices of address of service and response to the petition within the prescribed time in law," the petitioner says of Owino (1st respondent), Constituency Returning Officer Nicholas Butuk (2nd respondents) and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (3rd respondent).

Given the fact that election petitions are sui generis, in that they are to be heard and determined within given timelines, the petitioner argues compliance to timelines stipulated in law cannot be overlooked.

In a Wednesday night tweet, however, Owino denied failure to file replies, dismissing the notice of motion as a rumour.

I filed my response within the stipulated time and treat the rumors being peddled by my opponents with the contempt it deserves.tibim

- Babu Owino™ (@Babu_Owino) September 20, 2017

Owino could not provide evidence to support his claims.

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