Pheroze Nowrojee: It's about time action was taken against Chebukati

Senior Counsel Pheroze Nowrojee. [Judiciary]

The chairperson of IEBC, Wafula Chebukati, acted with impunity when he locked other commissioners from verifying presidential election results, Senior Counsel Pheroze Nowrojee has said.

Appearing before the Supreme Court on Wednesday, August 31, where he represented petitioners Raila Odinga and Martha Karua, Nowrojee said Chebukati ignored and skipped some steps in the process of result-verification.

According to him, the process of checking the votes is simple: results at the polling station are entered in Form 34A, a photograph of the form is taken and uploaded to the KIEMS kit.

The commission thereafter corrects human errors on forms 34A, if any, and the results entered in Form 34B at the constituency level.

The seven IEBC commissioners are thereafter expected to physically receive all forms 34A and 34B.

The forms 34B would, thereafter, be collated to generate Form 34C. At this stage, the verification is done by the seven IEBC commissioners.

Nowrojee said Chebukati acted unilaterally by locking the IEBC commissioners from this important process.

The lawyer said the lack of participation by at least four of the IEBC commissioners allowed Chebukati room to manipulate the results as he so wished.

“How is it that after every five years, under the chairmanship of this particular officer, we have a crisis?” he posed.

Nowrojee also accused Chebukati of being a dictatorial lone ranger when he allegedly decided to postpone governorship elections in Kakamega and Mombasa counties without seeking the other commissioners’ input.

The lawyer said the move was “well-calculated and deliberate”.

Nowrojee asked the court to rein in on Chebukati, saying he’d personalised a public institution.

“Today, unlike before, protection of the sanctity of the institutions cannot be done in the streets, it’s done in the courts, by the Judiciary. If courage isn’t mustered to correct the wrongs, then everything will fall apart,” he said.

According to Nowrojee, the filed presidential petition is meant to defend the Constitution of Kenya from mutilation by “enemies who use irregular processes to have their way”.

“Whatever the outcome of the petition, we cannot have the self-discredited person, who writes false affidavits, to be the chairperson of the IEBC, or anything at all,” he said.