22 September 2017

Kenya: Judges Ignored Crucial Evidence, Says President

Photo: Daily Nation
President Uhuru Kenyatta.

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday accused the Supreme Court of subverting the will of Kenyans who voted on August 8 by failing to consider all the evidence adduced by the electoral commission.

He said it was incomprehensible how a bench of four judges could nullify a decision by more than eight million Kenyans who voted for him without due regard to evidence presented before them.

The President, who was with his deputy William Ruto, spoke a day after Supreme Court Judge Njoki Ndung'u in her dissenting opinion poked holes in the majority ruling, arguing that her colleagues had failed to verify the result forms on whose basis they annulled the presidential election.

In an address to the nation from State House, Nairobi, a day after the judges read their full judgments, the Head of State said the apex court handled the presidential petition poorly and was misguided in its majority ruling.

VERIFIED DOCUMENTS

He said had the court verified documents and forms supplied by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, the unstamped, unsigned and serialised forms upon which his election was nullified would have been proven to have been falsified.

"The presidential election was not nullified on the assumption that there were irregularities in the election result forms. It is now manifestly clear that despite the fact that relevant forms had already been deposited in court by IEBC, no proper scrutiny or verification ever took place, which would have otherwise brought the court to the inescapable conclusion that the election result of the August 8 election was indeed valid," he said, adding that the repeat poll must have held within the 60 days as provided for by the Constitution.

Chief Justice David Maraga, Deputy CJ Philomena Mwilu, Justice Smokin Wanjala and Justice Isaac Lenaola in their ruling upheld arguments by National Super Alliance in the election petition.

"How a decision of that magnitude was made without examination of some of the most crucial documents is, indeed, incredibly startling," the President said, adding that the court owes Kenyans an explanation as to how the "monstrous injustice" took place, cautioning it could plunge the country into judicial chaos.

DISPUTED FORMS

His speech appeared to borrow from the ruling of Justice Ndung'u who said the disputed Forms 34A used to declare the outcome were proper in form and content.

Justice Ndung'u faulted her colleagues for not using the certified forms filed in court by the commission to verify the claims made by Nasa presidential flagbearer Raila Odinga.

The judge said she conducted an analysis of the 291 Forms 34B -- 290 constituencies and one from the diaspora -- and the disputed Forms 34A and concluded they were proper and therefore ruled that the court should have had real grounds for concluding that the results were not credible.

"What then happens to this judgment made on the basis of falsified documents?" the President questioned and noted that since no one had questioned or contested the number of votes he garnered and the fact that he was exonerated by the same court from any irregularities and illegalities, the judges had no valid reason to cancel his victory.

Mr Kenyatta argued that the court's decision confirmed that the voting, counting and tallying of results was done in accordance with the law.

EXUDED CONFIDENCE

While reiterating that he would comply with the ruling, the President exuded confidence of a larger win in the October 26 repeat election, just five days to the lapse of the 60-day period allowed by the Constitution.

The IEBC changed the date from October 17 to 26 to allow it more time to prepare for the poll.

The cabinet has also approved a supplementary budget that shall be forwarded to the National Assembly next week for the purposes of the fresh election.

"There shall and must be an election within that constitutionally stipulated period. As Jubilee, we now go back to our people with our vision of unity and transformation agenda that will guarantee a free, equitable, stable, inclusive and prosperous nation," he added.

"The people of Kenya will speak again, and this time, their voice will and must be heard," he said and directed police across the country to remain alert and provide security to Kenyans and their property.

More on This

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