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IEBC Commissioners exonerated: No reason to disband IEBC officials, MPs say

Posted by African Press International on July 19, 2016

JOHN NJAGI -1 | Jumanne, Julai 19, 2016

A team of MPs has thrown out a petition seeking the removal of electoral commissioners.

The Justice and Legal Affairs, which is chaired by Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga, found there were no sufficient grounds for the commissioners to be sent home.

The committee has punched holes into a report by Auditor-General Edward Ouko. It also relied on a court ruling that ordered the adverse mention of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chairman Issack Hassan expunged from the Ouko report.

Kiharu MP Irungu Kang’ata said the committee had relied on legal grounds in determining whether the reasons raised by the petitioner, Mr Barasa Nyukuri, were sufficient.

“Based on the evidence before the committee, we have concluded that the commissioners should be acquitted after strictly looking at the legal point of view. Public perception and conjecture cannot be used to evaluate the evidence and either lead to removal or exonerate the commissioners,” he said.

Mr Chepkonga is now expected to table his team’s report in the National Assembly today after more than three weeks of deliberations.

The finding means that the committee will not be recommending to President Uhuru Kenyatta to form a tribunal to investigate the nine commissioners and save them from mounting public pressure such as the street protests by Coalition for Reforms and Democracy.

Mr Kang’ata says the committee relied on the ruling by High Court Judge Isaac Lenaola — delivered in May last year — in which he ordered the removal of adverse statements about Mr Hassan before the Auditor-General’s report was submitted to Parliament and made public.

Mr Hassan had argued in the suit that the auditor had not sought his side of the story.

A former secretary at the Canadian High Commission, Mr Tim Colby, who was also mentioned in Mr Ouko’s report as having been involved in irregular procurement, had also complained that his views had not been sought.

Mr Colby described the report as of “low quality in terms of presentation, format and content”.

End. Nation news Kenya

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