LSK condemns Duale for threatening judge


justice odunga
High Court Judge George Odunga in a past court session. [Photo/Courtesy]

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has condemned National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale for threatening to move a motion to discuss the conduct of High Court judge George Odunga for handling CORD’s electoral law petition.

Majority Leader Aden Duale issued the remarks on Thursday shortly after the National Assembly passed the controversial amendments to the Elections Act to revert to manual voter identification and elections result tallying even as Opposition MPs boycotted the special sitting.

“That this was intended as a threat or an attempt to intimidate is clear from the context. The statement was made as the honourable judge was hearing or preparing to rule on the application before him this morning,” said LSK President Isaac Okero in the statement to newsrooms on Thursday.

The LSK chairman protested that Justice Odunga holds a constitutional office whose independence is protected by Article 160 (1) of the Constitution.

“His exercise of judicial authority is undertaken on behalf of the people of the Republic and therefore cannot and should not be subjected to any impediment of any nature,” asserted Mr Okero.

Despite Duale’s remarks, the High Court judge did not grant CORD’s request to stop the National Assembly from holding the special sitting.

Justice Odunga ruled that the court can only deliberate on the outcome of the legislative process, noting that the separation of powers doctrine does not allow Parliament to create laws that violate the Constitution.

On Thursday, CORD MPs walked out of the special session called by the National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi after Tuesday’s aborted sitting.

Following the passing of the hotly contested amendments which CORD MPs view as intended to help the ruling Jubilee Party to rig 2017 general election, the Opposition has responded by calling for mass protests on January 4 next year.

At Capitol Hill, Opposition leaders including Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula claimed that Jubilee Party reverted to manual election results transmission to facilitate poll rigging.

Six months ago, CORD leaders led street demonstrations countrywide for several weeks to force the ejection of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission bosses.

CORD leaders called off the demonstrations after the formation of a Joint Select Committee on the IEBC that led to the agreement for the replacement of the commissioners and electoral amendments that now Jubilee has overturned.

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