JLAC adjourns hearing of petitions to allow Juliana Cherera to file response

The National Assembly Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs hearing the petitions against four IEBC commissioners has adjourned sittings to Tuesday to allow Vice Chairperson Juliana Cherera (pictured) to file a response.

Advocate Apollo Mboya representing Cherera had requested 10 days adjournment on grounds that his client had not received the petitions served to other respondents and would need them to adequately prepare for response.

Following Mr Mboya’s request, committee chairperson Tharaka MP George Murugura called for a 10 minutes break where members deliberated on the matter and agreed to grant him until today to ensure that he gets all the documents and appear at 8 am.

“Having listened to the presentation made by Advocate Mboya and following deliberations made by the committee members we have agreed to have an adjournment until tomorrow (today) morning at 8 am where he will continue with his response having gotten copies of all the petitions,” said Mr Murugara.

The committee chairperson said that there are only four petitions that they are aware of and they were properly served to all the respondents and they could not grant Ms Cherera the 10 days requested since they had strict timelines.

Murugara further clarified that the only evidence they have is the oral submissions of the four petitioners presented on Thursday and Friday last week and they have an obligation to ensure that justice is served to the petitioners and respondents.

He further said that the committee was not allowed to discuss the conduct of the President, the Speaker and Judges after Mboya wanted the President summoned over his post on Twitter where he appeared to condemn the four IEBC commissioners.

The advocate argued that in normal circumstances his client could have been granted 14 days but Murugara clarified that they were not a judicial entity but they were a parliamentary committee investigating the conduct of the four IEBC Commissioners.

“My client Juliana Cherera stands prejudiced if the documents she is requesting for are not granted, I would like to thank this committee for allowing me to get the other petitions so that I can go through them and appear before this committee tomorrow morning,” said Mboya.

He requested the committee to allocate more time for the matter since the few hours given to his client were not enough to make file responses but Murugara said that only the Speaker has the power to do that.

South Mugirango MP Silvanus Osoro faulted Mboya for joining the team that walked out on the committee last week saying it denied him a chance to follow proceedings and get the necessary documents that he was seeking.

Gatanga MP Edward Mureu said that the committee was nonpartisan and intends to give the petitioners and respondents an opportunity to explain themselves and ensure justice prevails.

Advocate Kennedy Okongo representing the Republican Liberty Party, the first petitioner asked Mboya to state whether he had instructions from his client that the committee has jurisdiction over the matter since the team that walked out on Thursday had raised issues over the matter.

Geoffrey Lagat, a petitioner, opposed the adjournment sought by Cherera terming it a delaying tactic that was intended to deny the petitioners justice since Cherera had been properly served.

Rev Dennis Ndwiga, a petitioner, urged the committee to expedite the matter to prevent it from being hijacked by the political class who want to ensure that the petitioners are denied justice.

While the proceedings were ongoing, Members of the Bunge La Mwananchi protested outside Parliament Buildings in solidarity with IEBC Commissioners Julina Cherera, Irine Masit, Francis and Wanderi who are facing four petitions seeking their removal from office.

The protesters who were holding placards said that dragging the commissioners before the committee was intended to prepare the ground for their removal from office through a tribunal for rejecting the August 9 presidential election results.

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