Okiya Omtatah in court to stop parliamentary committee from interrogating dissenting IEBC 4

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 29 Nov, 2022 11:03 | 2 mins read
Okiya Omtatah in court to stop parliamentary committee from interrogating dissenting IEBC 4
IEBC commissioners Juliana Cherera , Francis Wanderi , Irene Cherop and Justus Nyang’aya. PHOTO/Courtesy.

Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah has petitioned the High Court seeking to stop the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs from conducting proceedings for the removal of four IEBC commissioners from office.

In an application filed under a certificate of urgency, Omtatah wants the constitution and Human Rights High Court in Milimani to issue interim orders to the ongoing proceedings for the four commissioners ousted by the National Assembly pending the hearing and determination of his case. 

Omtatah is challenging the proceedings initiated for the removal of four IEBC Commissioners led by Vice-Chairperson Juliana Cherera , Francis Wanderi , Irene Cherop and Justus Nyang’aya on grounds that they  are discriminatory and politically instigated with an intention to victimize 

"l urge the court be pleased to issue a conservatory order suspending the National Assembly’s quasi-judicial proceedings pursuant to the four petitions in the National Assembly, seeking the removal from office of the four commissioners," Omtatah said in his affidavit.

4 petitions

The four commissioners’ jobs are on the line after the Republican party, Dennis Nthumbi, Geoffrey Langat and Owuor Steve Gerry petitioned for their removal on grounds of gross misconduct, abuse of office, violation of the Constitution and taking sides in the August 9 presidential race

They are also accused of conspiring with top national security officials to alter the election results in favour of Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition contender Raila Odinga and trigger a run-off.

In his case, Omtatah is also seeking orders stopping the National Assembly from proceeding to give effect in any way whatsoever, to the four petitions pursuant to Article 251 of the Constitution.

"Pending the inter-partes hearing and determination of this application and/or the Petition herein the Honourable Court be pleased to issue a temporary order prohibiting the Speaker of the National Assembly from forwarding to the President any resolution of the National Assembly recommending the formation of a tribunal in relation to the four petitions in the National Assembly, seeking the removal from office of the 4 commissioners," Omtatah says in his papers.

The senator says he is aggrieved that the entities that have petitioned the

"National Assembly seek to re-litigate the split among the IEBC commissioners over the verification and tallying of the final results at Bomas in the August presidential polls. They are doing so with a view to victimising one side of the divide, yet the Supreme Court considered and determined the issue in the 2022 Presidential Petition, and recommended a way forward, without taking sides.

"That is a glaring and boldfaced act of bare-knuckle discrimination and victimisation of the four accused commissioners, it is also in the public domain that other petitions filed in the National Assembly by partisans seeking the removal of the four commissioners have been suppressed by the Speaker of the House," he argues.

"Since this Court is both the forum for supervising quasi-judicial proceedings of the National Assembly, enforcing decisions of the Supreme Court, Omtatah has approached it seeking orders stopping the contemptuous treatment of the findings and recommendations of the Supreme Court by the President through the politically instigated but meritless removal petitioners in the National Assembly," reads the court papers.

Omatath argues that it is unacceptable that President William Ruto has taken sides and is openly supporting petitions targeting only the four commissioners and not the other three for purely political reasons, yet the Supreme Court pronounced itself that the entire commission was dysfunctional.

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