How the Judiciary is shaping up 2017 elections

Recent highlight decisions by different judges paint a picture of courts determined to employ discretion to ensure a credible poll, by discounting flimsy bureaucratic roadblocks


Alpha Femi

The Judiciary has taken centre stage in the gruelling contest that will be the August 8 General Election, with key decisions that could help realise a credible process hinged on the crucial institution.

Not to be left behind is the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPARB), which has also been in the frontline in ensuring that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission procures election materials in a manner that conforms to law, and meets the required standard.

From cancelling tenders, issuing guidelines in the election timetable and giving directions on transmission of results, the Judiciary has not left anything to chance regarding election preparations, and has noted in several judgments that it will not wait for the country to bleed, and will instead offer solutions to pre-empt that.

Justice George Odunga made it clear when he cancelled the tender for supply and delivery of ballot papers, election results declaration forms and poll registers awarded to Al Ghuraiar Printing and Publishing Company, that the courts will not sit on the fence and watch IEBC mess up the election process.

“To avoid eventualities of disputed elections, preparation by the electoral commission must be done correctly. An illegality cannot be abetted over claims that delay in procuring key elections materials could lead to election violence like witnessed in 2007,” ruled Odunga.

Justice Odunga was categorical that the Judiciary will…

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