Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino could lose his seat if the High Court rules that he responded late to a petition challenging his win in the August 8th election.
Jubilee Party’s Francis Mureithi applied to have Babu’s victory annulled, saying that his late response to the petition could have meant that he was not challenging it.
The High Court heard Mureithi’s case on October 11th 2017. He also notified the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Babu Owino and the returning officer of the constituency through a notice on newspaper dated September 7th.
Babu Owino, however, says that he filed his response in time, though his lawyers, Edwin Sifuna and Jackson Awele stated that the reason why the response to the petition was filed late is that it was based on a provision on a newspaper that did not catch their attention in time.
The constituency could be in for a by-election if the High Court rules in favour of Mureithi, i.e, that Babu Owino filed a response past the set deadline.
“All three respondents refused, neglected and failed to file their notices of response within the prescribed time. No explanation was given by Babu Owino to explain the delay. He is responsible for the delay. It is a case of negligence by the MP to allege he had not seen the advert in widely circulated newspapers,” said Mureithi.
The response to Mureithi’s petition was supposed to be filed within a period of 7 days, failure to do so resulting in a fresh election.
Babu Owino has been the talk of the town recently, being arrested twice and released on bail. He was also caught on camera exchanging blows with Starehe MP Charles Kanyi over election amendment laws.
The two feuding MPs later apologized for the incident.
The court will make the final ruling on Wednesday, October 18th 2017.