Slightly more than four months since the seminal ruling by the Supreme Court under Martha Koome which not only upheld president-elect William Ruto’s victory but in the process used unorthodox judicial terms such as ”Hot-air” and “Wild goose chase”, more light is being shed on what led to the unusual conduct by the bench.
Lawyer and Nyamira senator Okong’o Omogeni was speaking while making an appearance on KTN News’ morning show Standpoint which was hosted by the station’s presenter Debarl Ainea. Alongside Omogeni in the studio were Tana River senator Danson Mungatana, Bomet County senator Hilary Sigei and former minister Kipruto Arap Kirwa.
Omogeni claimed that the 14-day limit in which a presidential election petition is required to be heard and decided is too restrictive and strenuous for the judges. Proposing that a longer timeline needs to be introduced, the lawyer speculated that perhaps it was such challenges that might have led to Chief Justice Martha Koome using words like Hot-air..
The Supreme Court on Monday 5th September upheld the Aug. 9 election of William Ruto as president in a unanimous decision, Chief Justice Martha Koome said in a scathing judgement that swept aside opposition leader Raila Odinga’s accusations of cheating.
“This is a unanimous decision of the court … This court upholds the election of the first respondent (William Ruto) as the president-elect,” Koome, who heads the seven-member court, said during a televised ruling.
Ruto had been serving as outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta’s deputy since 2013 but fell out with Kenyatta after the last election. Kenyatta formed an alliance with his long-time rival Odinga .
Koome’s judgement left no ambiguity about the court’s opinion of the key arguments brought by Odinga’s team and other complainants, whose cases were combined with Odinga’s.
She dismissed two affidavits alleging that polling stations results forms had been tampered with as “double hearsay” and two others as containing forgeries. Another was described as “no more than hot air … a wild goose chase”.
“Some of the (computer) logs presented as evidence … showed that they were either from logs arising from the 2017 election or were outright forgeries,” she said.
Koome even raised the possibility of perjury, pointedly saying that two people who filed affidavits allegedly on behalf of polling stations agents had not spoken to the agents and attached falsified forms to their affidavits.
“Swearing to falsehoods is a criminal offence,” she told the court.
Ruto who defeated Kenya’s two most powerful political families, took the helm of Kenya, a Western ally in an unstable region, which also hosts the regional headquarters of many global companies and organisations.
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