The National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, has commended the Supreme Court of Kenya for giving a verdict, which he termed fair and historical.
Odinga now wants a complete overhaul of the IEBC Commissioners ahead of the fresh election date, saying they cannot be trusted to hold a free and fair poll on November 1, when Kenyans will return to the ballot.
Odinga further said he will seek legal redress against IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati and the six other commissioners. Odinga was speaking at the Supreme Court of Kenya after the judges had read out their verdict.
The determination on the presidential election petition filed by NASA against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was given by the Supreme Court judges on Friday, September 1.
The Supreme Court judges said the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) did not conduct the exercise fairly.
It remains unclear if Odinga’s wish will be granted, given the country will return to the poll in 60 days from September 1.
Chapter 16 of the 2010 Constitution states that commissioners can only be removed from office for a serious violation of the Constitution, including a contravention of Chapter Six on leadership and integrity.
Commissioners can be removed if they are accused of gross misconduct or for physical or mental incapacity to perform the functions of their office.
Incompetence or bankruptcy can also be grounds for removal.
A person seeking the removal of a commissioner can present a petition to the National Assembly setting out the alleged facts constituting that ground.
“The National Assembly shall consider the petition and if it is satisfied that it discloses a ground under Clause (1) shall send the petition to the President,” states Article 251, Section 3.
The President, after receiving the petition, may suspend the member or office holder pending the outcome of the hearing of the complaint or shall appoint a tribunal.
The tribunal will then make a binding recommendations to the President, who shall act on it within 30 days.
In their determination, where five judges ruled in favour of the petitioner; and two against the petitioner’s plea, the Court said the IEBC did not conduct the presidential election in accordance with the Constitution of Kenya.
Chief Justice David Maraga said the court was satisfied that the IEBC committed irregularities in transmission of results.
CJ Maraga, however, said there was no misconduct on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s side.
The CJ concluded that the irregularities in the electoral process affected the integrity of the entire exercise.
Following the Supreme Court verdict, Kenyans will return to the vote on November 1.
After the verdict, NASA chief principal, Raila Odinga, gave his speech. Read it below:
“This is indeed a very historic day for the people of Kenya; by extension to the people of the continent of Africa. For the first time, in the history of Africa democratization, a ruling has been made by a court nullifying irregular election of a president. This is a precedent-setting ruling, and therefore very historical. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Supreme Court judges, led by the Chief Justice David Maraga for posterity of the people of Kenya.
“Secondly, I would like to take the opportunity to thank our lawyers, who burned the midnight oil; who worked so tirelessly in order to prepare for this case. Also, another team of five dedicated young Kenyans, who worked without sleep to gather all the evidence that has been used by our lawyers in the petition.
“This is a triumph for the people of Kenya; and we said at the beginning that our journey to Canaan was on unstoppable. On the 8th of August, we crossed the River Jordan. We have reached the city of Jericho, we are marching on to the city of Jerusalem; and we shall get there. As has been said by my other colleagues, we do not have faith in the electoral commission as it is currently constituted.
“They have committed a criminal act, most of them actually belong to jail; and therefore, we are going to ask for the prosecution of all the electoral commission officers, who have committed this monstrous crime against the people of Kenya.
“Today is Eid ul Adha and I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate our Muslim brothers, who are here with us today. It is even good that this judgment has come today. We are going to issue a comprehensive statement later Friday.”