Chebukati dismissal, CJ Koome’s view
Chief Justice Martha Koome has raised questions regarding Chebukati dismissal. This is after the Azimio la Umoja coalition filed a petition to disqualify the IEBC chairman.
Koome asked if it was right that the 7 judges agree to his dismissal despite the constitutional mandates.
She asked,”My dilemma is that this is a constitutional office holder and that there is a procedure to remove such. How do we go about that? Should we make an order contrary to the constitution given that he also has a right of reply?”
Justice Koome further stated that anyone who commits an election offence should be punished according to Election offence act.
She detailed that they will be using the power given to them in a reckless manner if they declare Chebukati’s removal.
She asked,”We have an Election Offenses Act and anyone who commits any offense ought to be charged before the court with the jurisdiction and I gazzetted magistrates to deal with the same. wouldn’t we be usurping the power of the magistrates if we have to make any order regarding election offences?”
Echoed by Justice Ibrahim, he stated that the demands by the Azimio la Umoja coalition could some how be impossible.
He said,”I am concerned with the alternative relief sought. The petitioner requested that there should be a nullification, then a recount and the chair be ordered to declare him and the second petitioner as winner. We would like you to lay a legal and constitutional basis for this in your rejoinder.”
Justice Mohammed Ibrahim also hinted that the Azimio Coalition demands are not constitutionally adhered to.
Ibrahim asked,”You want a fresh election to take place. One of the reliefs you are asking is that the Chairman of IEBC be declared unfit to hold public office, how is that possible? How do you want us to navigate that within the law? What is the de facto state under the law.”