Court orders IEBC to explain why it blocked Gichira


Presidential aspirant Peter Solomon Gichira when he appeared in court to face attempted suicide charges.
Presidential aspirant Peter Solomon Gichira when he appeared in court to face attempted suicide charges.

The High Court has on Monday directed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to explain why it locked out presidential aspirant Peter Solomon Gichira from vying in August 8th General Election.

Justice George Odunga asked the electoral commission to file its response by Tuesday and appear for the inter-party hearing on Wednesday.

Peter Gichira filed the application seeking to be allowed to submit signatures of people who had nominated him to vie for the presidency.

The presidential aspirant claims that he faces an imminent threat of being denied the right to vie as an independent candidate after IEBC  declined to allow him to submit his list of signatures by locking him out of  the exercise for the presentation of nomination papers at the KICC.

On May 26, Justice Odunga nullified sections of the Elections Act and requirements by the electoral commission.

Justice Odunga barred IEBC from rejecting nomination signature lists of 2,000 supporters unless submitted in Excel format, terming the requirement unconstitutional.

However, the High Court judge then declined to issue an order directing the Wafula Chebukati-led electoral commission to accept the submitted signatures lists of people who nominated the petitioner Gichira.

SUICIDE ATTEMPT

On May 29, Gichira was charged at the Milimani Law Courts with attempted suicide, malicious damage to property and creating disturbance.

He was freed on a Sh200,o00 cash bail after pleading not guilty to three charges.

Gichira denied the charges before Magistrate Francis Andayi and the case set for hearing on June 15, 2017.

The political debutant spent two days at Central Police Station in Nairobi after being arrested on Saturday, May 27, at IEBC headquarters in Anniversary Towers for allegedly attempting to commit suicide by jumping off from the building’s sixth floor.

Gichira was further accused of damaging installations at the IEBC offices worth Sh30, 000 following a confrontation with the electoral commission’s staff after being denied audience with electoral agency’s chairman Wafula Chebukati.

The presidential aspirant had gone to the IEBC offices demanding answers as to why the commission demanded a list of 48, 000 signatures of registered voters from independent candidates despite successfully obtaining a court order suspending that clause of the elections act.

His running mate, Kelly Watima, faulted the electoral commission for allegedly fabricating accusations aimed at locking them out of the presidential race.

Gichira was among seven presidential aspirants axed from the final list of candidates required to present their nominations papers to IEBC for approval.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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