I will act on poll crimes after court ruling: DPP

The Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko has called for patience as the country awaits the detailed judgement of the Supreme Court before he can prosecute electoral commission officials. 

Mr Tobiko was responding to a petition by lobby group Kura Yangu Sauti Yangu, which has called for the prosecution of officers of the electoral commission for the illegalities and irregularities, as noted by the Supreme Court, which led to the cancellation of the August 8 presidential election. 

“In order for me to give clear, precise and specific directives to the Inspector General of Police or any such other criminal investigative agencies as may be appropriate, and to facilitate a holistic and comprehensive investigation, I am of the considered view that it would be proper to await delivery of the detailed and reasoned judgement of the Supreme Court,” Mr Tobiko said in a letter to the lobby. 

IEBC OFFCIALS
He noted the lobby’s petition does not give specifics of the alleged criminal offences, making it difficult for his office to act on it. 

Opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) and civil society groups have been calling on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to sack officers who were complicit in the rigging of last month’s presidential election in favour of Jubilee Party’s President Uhuru Kenyatta. 

The officers targeted are commissioner Abdi Guliye, who chairs the IEBC ICT committee, CEO Ezra Chiloba, Deputy CEOs Betty Nyabuto and Marjan Hussein Marjan, directors Praxedes Tororey, Immaculate Kassait and James Muhati, and manager Moses Kipkogey.

SUCCESSION
Meanwhile, legal experts have warned that the removal of the IEBC chairman and his commissioners before the repeat presidential election might plunge the country into a constitutional crisis.

Should the commissioners be removed, their positions will have to be advertised, interviews conducted, vetted by Parliament, and finally appointment by the President and then gazettement.

However, Section 134 of the Constitution also provides that during temporary incumbency, the President cannot among others, nominate or appoint any other public officer whom the constitution or legislation requires the President to appoint.

QUALIFICATION
Former Law Society of Kenya CEO Apollo Mboya said the position of chairman has to be held by a person who is qualified to be appointed a judge of the Supreme Court.

This is set out in Section 6(1) of the IEBC Act.

Lawyer Harun Ndubi said leaders are mixing politics and the law.

“There is, however, the potential for a political solution where both Jubilee and Nasa, reach a consensus to accept certain situation.

“They may also reach a middle ground to have external actors like the United Nations, conduct the repeat elections,” Ndubi said.

Mwewe wants court secures the integrity of the electoral system.

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