We won't be cowed by attacks, judge tells Kenyatta

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Kenya's Supreme Court judges singled out on Wednesday the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission for excoriation over the annulment of the 8 August presidential election on 1 September.

1 nullified the outcome of the August 8 ballot, the first time a presidential election result has been legally overturned in Africa, after finding the electoral commission committed "irregularities and illegalities" and failed to conduct the vote in line with the constitution.

Analysts fear that with the bashing received from the judges, the IEBC may have lost the moral credibility to organise a new poll in less than a month.

Chief Justice David Maraga mentioned only "irregularities and illegalities", notably in the transmission of election results.

The decision was reached after opposition candidate Raila Odinga had challenged the results in court, raising accusations of hacking and the making of a "computer generated leadership". Odinga claimed that the criticism of Maraga - who was part of the panel that nullified the election result - was an attack on his community.

" It is clear from the above that IEBC in particular failed to allow access to two critical areas of their servers".

Justice Maraga points to an incident yesterday in which he says a judge was "blocked by demonstrators from accessing the Kerugoya Law Courts for the hearing of her own petition".

The paper also reported that Mr Nguma included phone records in his petition to the JSC, which he believes proves his allegations.

"But what did IEBC do with it?"

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Furthermore, the IEBC was unable to explain what had happened to the results from over 11,000 polling stations which were required by law to be sent to tallying stations.

Judges described the obscurity around the forms 34A as a "mysterious puzzle of labyrinthine proportions".

Mwilu also said it appeared the board did not have all the necessary tally forms, with thousands unaccounted for, at the time they announced official results. Police spokesman George Kinoti called that accusation "not true", saying they have provided protection to all judges at their homes and workplaces.

"Failure of the electronic system was a direct violation of the law".

Justice Ndung'u, however, said she conducted a comprehensive analysis of all the 291 Forms 34B (290 constituencies and Diaspora) and the disputed Forms 34A and noted they were proper.

"We find that the 2017 presidential election was neither transparent nor verifiable", leading to the unprecedented decision to nullify the vote, said Mwilu.

The court has set a new election date for October 17.

"This judgment should therefore lead IEBC to a soul searching mission.and that if such anomalies are brought to the attention of this court again, a similar ruling will still be made...", he said.

Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior has given his early breakdown of the Supreme Court full judgment, predicting a possible jail term for two of the IEBC officials Wafula Chebukati and Ezra Chiloba for contempt of court and violation of the Election offence act.

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