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February 23, 2019

Jubilee alleges conflict of interest in Al Ghurair ballot papers case

Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju after attending a consultative meeting with IEBC and other parties, June 15, 2017. /MONICAH MWANGI
Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju after attending a consultative meeting with IEBC and other parties, June 15, 2017. /MONICAH MWANGI

Jubilee Party has claimed there was a conflict of interest in the High Court ruling which saw the presidential ballot papers printing tender quashed.

Secretary General Raphael Tuju on Monday accused NASA lawyer James Orengo of not disclosing his relation with Justice George Odunga.

Odunga was among the three judges, among them Justices John Mativo and Joel Ngugi, who delivered the ruling on Friday last week.

This was in the case between NASA and IEBC regarding the printing of ballot papers by Dubai-based firm Al Ghurair.

Read: NASA’s round one victory in ballot paper printing case

IEBC moved to Appeals court to challenge the High court's decision saying the latter did not consider serious facts raised before it.

In defence of President Uhuru Kenyatta against criticism for attacking the Judiciary, the Jubilee team claimed Odunga is married to Orengo's niece.

Tuju, accompanied by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka Nithi), said Orengo out to have declared the 'glaring conflict of interest'.

National Assembly Leader of Majority Aden Duale was also present at the press conference held at the Jubilee Party headquarters.

"Odunga is married to Sarah Odunga who is James Orengo's niece," Tuju claimed, "Justice Odunga did not declare this, thus there is a conflict of interest."

"The younger sibling of Odunga’s wife is actually named Orengo," he added.

However, the Jubilee Party SG did not provide evidence to back up his allegations.

But the JSC dismissed the allegations saying the courts and judges are independent.

"The CJ has already pronounced himself on the inviolability of the decisional independence of judges and judicial officers."

"That suffices in the present case," Judiciary's Director of Communication Naim Bilal said.

The JP leaders also claimed that Court of Appeal Judge William Ouko is related to NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga's wife Ida.

Ouko was among the five-member bench which ruled that results declared at the constituency tallying centre are final.

They claimed NASA is using the Judiciary to intimidate IEBC and the Jubilee administration.

"As politicians, we hold the highest level of responsibility than the Chief Justice and we will never accept any kind of dictatorship from his office," Murkomen said.

ODM secretary general Agnes Zani defended the court ruling and Orengo saying Jubilee was desperate for an argument.

"They ruled in their capacity as High Court judges. We had a strong case and even if they appeal, it is going nowhere," Zani said.




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