Supreme Court: Lawyer Willis Otieno wants criminal sanctions against Chebukati

Supreme Court: Lawyer Willis Otieno wants criminal sanctions against Chebukati

Lawyer Willis Otieno speaking during the Supreme Court petition on Wednesday, 31,2022. PHOTO|COURTESY

Lawyer Willis Otieno has called on the Supreme Court to put criminal sanctions on IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati over what he terms as perpetual disobedience of court orders.

In defence of the affidavit filed by petitioner David Kariuki Ngari challenging the August elections, Otieno cited the instances of 2017 poll malpractices and illegalities that led to the nullification of the results saying that Chebukati had once again failed to uphold the law while undertaking the 2022 Presidential elections.

He thus urged the court to criminalise the commission’s boss arguing that he has constantly been suppressing the will of citizens by leading an election marred with irregularities.

“Chebukati refused to follow the Supreme Court orders in 2017. In light of the disobedience of the court orders in the Maina Kiai, the court was, very clear on the role of IEBC and the chairperson. When he unilaterally ignores that order, I urge this court to take that into account,” Advocate Otieno submitted.

“We can’t be coming back to Supreme Court every election with the same problem involving the same person. It is time that Mr Chebukati should be shown that the will of the people is supreme, and should work within the constitutions and decisions of this court.”

He added: “That is why we are calling for criminal sanctions and appropriate reports to the DPP. Why should the people continue to suffer constant anxiety around elections that are being bungled when the courts have sounded themselves off and loud on what is your role, what you are supposed to do, what technology to deploy, how to protect that technology and he is not doing it?”

Otieno whose client pushes for the nullification of the August polls, also poked holes in the electoral process as he called out IEBC Commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu who are also listed as respondents in the case.

The lawyer accused Chebukati's team of habitually disregarding the Supreme Court directions in 2017 ruling and leading an election without adhering to the required guidelines such as dates and timelines.

If the system was compromised from the beginning, the universe of the elections had been compromised from the beginning. Whatever numbers will come from that universe of the elections the voter register, does not matter,” Otieno said.

“I urge my lords and my ladies, the problems of IEBC, specifically the 2nd respondent are systemic. The Court should consider the conduct of Wafula Chebukati, Prof Guliye and Molu. They are the common constant who were the only commissioners who were in the 2017 general elections, who procured the elections technology and the only commissioners who are resenting.”

He highlighted the delay in notifying of the electoral processes as raised by presidential candidates saying it was a plot by Chebukati and his team to rig the elections.

“Section 6 of the Elections Act requires the register to be open for inspections 90 days before the notice of a general election. The notice came out on the 20th of January, the register ought to be opened 90 days before… This was a deliberate attempt to make sure that the elections are compromised.”

"It's not the first time we are holding elections in Kenya, Chebukati knew what the law is. In this election, the people had their say but technology had its way.


Citizen Digital IEBC Supreme Court Wafula Chebukati Citizen TV Kenya Willis Otieno

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