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AS IT HAPPENED: Wetangula's day at the IEBC

12 January 2016, 11:29

Nairobi - Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula's fate over voter bribery allegations is set to be decided by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commision IEBC. Here are live updates.

11:24 Wetangula's lawyer James Orengo makes submissions. Tries to explain the role of the elections court and why its ruling that the Senator bribed voters in the 2013 elections cannot hold water

11:31 Members of the IEBC committee deliberate over Orengo's arguments

11:37 Orengo requests for more time to explain his view of the matter.

11:38 CORD leader Raila Odinga watches silently as Orengo proceeds with his presentation. " He looks tired", Anthony Ojok says on Twitter. Does he?

11:44 Orengo "The Supreme Court and Court of Appeal did not make a decision over Wetangula's fate. A Committee cannot make a  key decision after the two biggest courts in the land failed to. It will be going over your mandate," he says.

11:51 Committee chairman Thomas Letangule argues that Orengo's defence is wrong as it is the same courts that sent the matter to the IEBC to deliberate over. Orengo insists that the Committee does not have the jurisdiction to rule over the matter, which irks the Committee.

11:54 "This is looking desperate for Wetangula. His team struggling to make any sense to the Committee", Isaac Okoth says on Twitter, as Orengo continues to argue out why the Committee cannot bar Wetangula.

11:57 Wetangula's secondary lawyer argues that the only way by law that a voter can be barred from the elections book is by being first disqualified. He says that the Supreme Court did not disqualify Wetangula thus the IEBC cannot bar the Senator.

11:59 Outside the Milimani Law Courts, Wetangula's supporters wait for the ruling. News24 user Victor Tinto says that they are tense but hopeful of a resolution for the embattled Senator.

12:05 "The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions DPP has not opened criminal proceedings against the Senator so there is no way he can be stripped of an electoral post without being criminally prosecuted," Orengo adds.

12:07 Wetangula's team seeks a deferment of the proceedings to allow for further deliberation of the matter to consider the role of the DPP in the case.

12:13 Orengo: "It is vital that this Committee ensures that it makes a decision that it is confident is applicable in law. Let us take our time to make that consideration.

" You cannot punish someone without considering the ramifications of the law. The Constitution is the key always. I urge you the Committee to consider this in making your judgement. Consider the Constitution.

12:19 James Kaindi on Twitter says" I'm I the only one who thinks this Committee has been given too big a fish to fry. The submissions made by Wetangula's team put them in the shade."

12:23 Committee chair Letangule seeks adjournment until 2 PM. They will continue for an hour afterwards.

12:26 Outside the court, News24 user Victor Tinto says that the crowd is disappointed that the break has been taken, but vows to stay strong with their leader until the Committee ends it sitting later on in the day.

12:27 Back at 2. See you then.

14:17 And were back. Orengo continues with submissions.

14:24 Orengo: "There is no ruling by any of the three courts starting from the High Court to the Supreme Court to the Court of Appeal prompting the IEBC to delete Wetangula's name from the voters list.

Unless the IEBC is acting on its own accord, then there is no way this Committee can delete the name without any court ruling to back it".

14:30 Orengo: "Wetangula is an elected official. He was elected on 4 March 2013 and once again in a by election the people of Bungoma chose him to represent them. The IEBC must respect the feelings of the people because if it does not then it has contradicted itself by allowing a by election to take place".

"Also, time has lapsed because by revoking the election, this is an election petition still taking place 18 months to the elections. There is need to use a different forum to debate this matter. Time is past due for an election petition to be taking place".

14:36 Orengo: "Justice cannot be done in this forum. Deleting the name of Senator Wetangula would be an injustice to the people of Bungoma as this Committee cannot supersede the powers of the biggest courts in the land.

14:41 Outside the court, News24 correspondent Victor Tinto says that things are calm. There is not much movement. The supporters are still waiting for news from the case. Some are listening on radios, he states.

14:46 Letangule: "The judgement of the Supreme Court was made after the by election was carried out so what do we follow?",he poses to Orengo.

Wetangula allowed to speak.

14:49 Wetangula: "I acknowledge the presence of the Committee before me and of the counsel James Orengo for your time in the opening submissions.

" I am an elected leader, an officer of the law, a public servant, elected official and Presidential candidate. I would like to ask the court to respect that.

" I would also like the court to consider the costs that I have undertaken in this process. My name has been dragged in the mud."

" The findings of the Supreme Court have in no way stated that my name be deleted from the voters register. In any way the Supreme Court has stated that my rights as a voter be retained and maintained.

14:56 Lawyer Paul Mwangi: "The fact is that the highest Court in the land has not stated that Wetangula's names be deleted from the voters list. This in effect is a civil court and to be entrusted with such a decision is unfair and must be returned to the relevant authorities.

15:00 Letangule: We adjourn this committee now. We will retreat to make a decision as soon as possible and get back to you by 20th of January with a clear decision. I would like to ask the respondents to trust that this Committee will make the right decision for the sake of the Senator and people of Kenya and will consider everything that has been put on the table today. I want to thank everyone for taking their time to come before us and for making this session possible. Thank you.

- News24


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