Supreme Court quorum hitch not a coincidence, claims Orengo


Orengo claims that lack of quorum by Supreme Court judges was a well-orchestrated scheme to ...
Siaya Senator James Orengo [PHOTO | FILE]

The National Super Alliance (NASA) has now termed the lack of quorum at the Supreme Court in bid to stop tomorrow’s repeat presidential election as designed to ensure the case was not heard.

Only the Chief Justice David Maraga and Justice Isaac Lenaola were available with the Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Justices Mohammed Ibrahim Ojwang, Lucy Ndung’u and Smokin Wanjala unable to attend the hearing.

CJ Maraga said that Deputy CJ Philomena was unable to attend court after her bodyguard was shot on Tuesday, Justice Njoki Ndung’u was not unable to get a flight from Nyeri to Nairobi, Justice Ibrahim was unwell and that Justices Smokin Wanjala and Jackton Ojwang were unable to attend.

“The Chief Justice’s inability to mobilize a quorum is not a coincidence. The gazettement of today’s holiday was designed to ensure there will be no quorum to hear the case,” claimed NASA’s lawyer James Orengo

Chief Justice David Maraga and Justice Isaac Lenaola were the only Judges present to hear the case leading to a quorum hitch since a minimum of five judges are required to be present for the Supreme Court to be fully constituted.

While accusing the ruling coalition of using intimidation, Orengo further indicated a ploy to undermine the electoral body, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), and the Supreme Court.

“The first constitutional body that has been disabled by way of conduct is IEBC. If the Commission goes on with the election it will be an illegality. It is a clear indication the electoral commission is operating without the input of the Chairman,” said Siaya Senator Orengo.

While referring to Wednesday’s incident when DCJ Mwilu’s was shot and injured by unknown gunmen on Ngong Road in Nairobi, Orengo condemned the act.

“These acts of intimidation have now gone beyond the courts. They are in form of attacks, arrests and detention,” warned Orengo.

Orengo affirmed the opposition coalition’s stand to boycott the repeat poll saying: “Our candidate and the NASA coalition has already withdrawn and will not take part in an illegal election.”

“Any election is not good enough. It needs to represent the majority and tomorrow’s election does not so as far as the opposition is concerned there will be no election tomorrow,” said Orengo.

While citing a hostile environment and lack of preparedness, the coalition urged IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati to declare the election as not credible, free or fair.

Hiring of IEBC returning officers

This comes moments after the High Court declined to cancel the appointment of 290 constituency returning officers set to conduct tomorrow’s poll.

In his ruling, Justice George Odunga indicated that IEBC failed to comply with the regulations on sharing of the list of returning officers with political parties but declined to quash their gazettement due to public interest.

The NASA coalition is now expected to hold a rally at Uhuru Park where they will give a way forward ahead of tomorrow’s repeat poll.

Roads blocked

Meanwhile, transport is paralyzed along the Kisumu-Bondo highway after youth barricaded roads at Akala and Ndori trading centres.

The youth have also lit bonfires on the road and only allowing motorists and pedestrians to pass if they carry twigs as a show of solidarity with NASA leader Raila Odinga in his calls for election boycott.

In Gem, MP Elisha Odhiambo led his constituents in a peaceful demonstration which also saw the busy Kisumu-Busia highway barricaded and transport paralyzed.

Elsewhere, hundreds of people led by Alego Usonga MP Samuel Atandi are already gathering at Ahindi gardens in Siaya town to begin demos to advocate for the election boycott.

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Story By Wangui Ngechu
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