The ghosts of the controversial 2017 General Election have returned to haunt the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairperson, Wafula Chebukati. The polls were marred by irregularities and technicalities, all arising from the mysterious computer servers that are yet to be opened four years later.
Chebukati is now battling a court case filed by Muslim for Human Rights (Muhuri) seeking to have him jailed and barred from continuing executing his duties in the electoral agency.
The rights group in its petition accuses Chebukati of failing to give it and other petitioners access to the servers holding crucial database on the 2017 presidential election.IEBC Officials During A Stakeholders Meeting on Wednesday, November 3IEBC Twitter Page
Chebukati, defending himself, argued that the Mombasa High Court has no jurisdiction to issue orders seeking to have him jailed for six months.
“The court with original jurisdiction to punish for contempt in this scenario is the Supreme Court since it is the court that made the germane orders dated August 28, 2017,” Chebukati stated.
Chebukati further faulted the orders arguing that he was not sued personally but by the entire electoral agency.
“No order was issued against me personally despite the fact that I was the first respondent in the Raila Odinga case. In any event, I was never sued in my personal capacity in the case,” Chebukati maintained.
He told the presiding Judge, Hedwig Ong’undi, that the powers to jail have been donated to the National Assembly by the Constitution.
The IEBC chair, however, read malice from the petition noting that it is aimed at frustrating his ability to discharge his mandate as he prepares for the 2022 General Election.
Through his lawyer, Murugu Rigoro, Chebukati stated that Supreme Court while nullifying the 2017 Presidential election did not hold him culpable or any of the IEBC commissioners.
The Supreme Court nullified the results of the Presidential election on grounds that IEBC failed to conform with the constitution requirements and that the process was marred with a lot of irregularities.
The Apex Court, however, did not deduce how Chebukati and other commissioners might have played a role in the irregularities.IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati During Election Preparation Forum on October 21, 2021.IEBC Twitter Page
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