BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,18TH JAN,2022-The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has asked the Supreme Court to declare the lower courts’ ruling on quorum hitch during its input on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) null and void.
The Commission through its lawyer Eric Gumbo submitted that a validation of the ruling by the Apex Court risks jeopardizing the ongoing preparations for the August General Election.
Gumbo cited the drafting of the Election Operations Plan which was drafted by the three Commissioners who were at the time in office.
“So, if one then were to argue that the document which they have relied on substantively for carrying out a number of activities what then would be the place of the decisions they have taken?” he posed.
He proceeded to argue that it was not logical to allow the Commission to conduct other vital businesses with three commissioners on board and at the same time fault them when handling matters of a referendum.
The High Court and the Court of Appeal had ruled that the commission ought to have had five commissioners and not three before handling the signature verification exercise on the BBI Bill.
Gumbo noted that the Commission was objective since they were relying on a ruling made by Justice Wilfrida Okwany in 2018 where he ruled that the three commissioners could still legally run the electoral body.
The ruling was precipitated by a case that sought to block the Commission from conducting by-elections in Baringo South, North Kadem (ward) and in Bobasi Chache (ward).
Former Attorney General Githu Muigai who also made his submissions before the seven-Judge bench on behalf of the electoral commission pleaded with the court to rule with finality that the question of quorum was out of the subject.
“It is our request that you grant our appeal and that you determine that IEBC at all material times had quorum because there was no operative law governing the question of quorum and there was a definitive finding of the High Court resolving the matter,” he said.