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February 25, 2018

Nullifying Uhuru's win almost burned Kenya, Tuju protests to Maraga

Jubilee Party Head of Secretariat Raphael Tuju during a past press conference Pangani, Nairobi. /FILE
Jubilee Party Head of Secretariat Raphael Tuju during a past press conference Pangani, Nairobi. /FILE

Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju has accused Chief Justice David Maraga of almost burning down Kenya after the August 8 presidential election was nullified.

In an open letter to Maraga on Wednesday, Tuju said during the elections, the CJ and the judiciary showed evident signs of "bias, impunity and poor leadership".

"With all due respect, may I state the following not to provoke you but to submit that no powers can be absolute. Irresponsible actions from the Judiciary, Executive or Parliament can burn this country," he said.

The letter appears to read from President Uhuru Kenyatta's script after the nullification where he warned that they "shall revisit" the conduct of the Judiciary.

Read: Is Uhuru targetting Supreme Court?

In his letter, Tuju said that the Judiciary has continued to act in a similar manner even after the elections especially by giving ex parte orders.

"Your courts, on the other hand, have found it in order to grant many of Okiya Omtatah prayers ex parte and with utmost of urgency and anticipatory bond to NASA leadership after the illegal act of swearing in the so-called "peoples president"," Tuju said.

He added; "Like all sensible Kenyans, we must respect the doctrine of separation of powers for our young democracy to survive, and for the viability of our beloved country."

Last September, the Supreme Court, in a historic ruling, annulled Uhuru's re-election.

Four judges ruled in favour of NASA's petition challenging the results, while two - Njoki Ndung'u and Jackton Ojwang - ruled against.

"Presidential election was not conducted in accordance with the Constitution. The results are null and void," Chief Justice David Maraga said then.

Read: Raila wins as Supreme Court nullifies Uhuru re-election

Tuju said the Constitution must be defended but noted that the same Constitution requires the Judiciary to be impartial, just and fair.

"Morality must be the foundation of the Constitution and our laws and not the laws being the foundation of morality," he said.

The former legislator said Kenya needs a strong Judicial system for a viable country adding that: "It is wrong for Judiciary to be controlled by the Executive."

"It is also wrong for the Judiciary to be controlled by NASA/ODM leaning judges or to have judges whose loyalty is first to the tribe and not to the law and the principle of fairness."

Before the August elections, Jubilee Party asked the Chief Justice to remove Justice George Odunga from all August 8 election cases.

In a letter, Tuju cited Odunga's relationship with NASA lawyer James Orengo (Siaya Senator).

He went on to cite the cases in which Odunga had presided over in which Orengo was representing the Opposition.

More on this: Jubilee demands removal of Judge Odunga over links to Orengo

Also read: LSK condemns Duale attack on judge George Odunga

"Unfortunately, that is where we are, needless to mention the challenge of Judiciary capture by a cartel of tenderpreneurs who bleed this county dry by aiding fraud," Tuju said.

The secretary-general further noted that the independence of the Judiciary, Executive or Parliament must be put in context.

"Independence cannot exclude another definition of relations that is referred to as interdependence. It will require mature leadership of all the players and most importantly from you too Chief Justice," he said.

He said when the Supreme Court of Kenya nullified last year's poll, they obeyed the court orders but noted that NASA "chose to defy the ruling and boycotted".

"You issued no statement to condemn NASA defiance of your ruling," he said.

Read: Jubilee MP files petition to compel Raila to run in repeat polls

Tuju also said when they moved to court over the boycott, the judiciary saw "nothing urgent" about the petition.

"...the court gave a hearing date of October 27, 2017. A post facto date. This was like a naughty wink to NASA to continue with their contempt of the Supreme Court," he said.

Read: Jubilee sues Raila for defying Supreme Court on repeat election

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