Chief Justice (CJ) Martha Koome defended the Supreme Court’s usage of ‘offensive’ terms in delivering a ruling on the presidential petition filed by the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition.
Azimio scoffed at the Supreme Court’s usage of terms such as ‘hot air’ in their September 5, 2022, ruling of the presidential petition – saying the usage of such terms lacked jurisprudential value.
Koome was put to task to explain why the court resorted to using such terms during an interview with Lillian Muli which aired on Citizen TV on Friday, November 4, 2022.
“There have been questions around some of the terms that were used during the petition such as ‘hot air’, ‘wild goose chase’. Publicly, it would be presumed that some of this language would not as judicial as would have been expected,” Lillian asked Koome.
The CJ said she wouldn’t delve into the matter in detail because of a petition filed by Martha Karua at the East Africa Court of Justicechallenging the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the presidential petition filed by Azimio.
Nonetheless, Koome defended the use of the terms saying there were reasons why the Supreme Court used the terms in its ruling.
“Well, I don’t want to comment on that case because I have heard that it is being processed further in another court in East Africa so it could be what we call subjudice but if you read the judgments and you followed the reasoning, there is a reasoning for each of those conclusions – why the court made those remarks,” she said.
Koome further stressed that the usage of the terms was not meant to offend anyone, explaining the circumstances that made the Supreme Court use ‘hot air’ and ‘wild goose chase’ in its ruling on the presidential petition.
“Those are English terms, perhaps they angered some people but they were not meant to offend anybody it was just an expression of the finding of the evidence that was presented before the court,” the CJ said
“For instance, there were some forms which were brought – form 34As relying on the evidence which was hearsay. Nonetheless, the court went ahead to look at the original forms 34As to compare with those forms which were alleged to have been interfered with and the court found that those forms were actually photoshopped
“The court went ahead to ask for the boxes, the ballot boxes from all the polling stations where those allegations emernated from where they were said to been interference and Kenyans watched when scrutiny was done on those original forms in the boxes, comparing them with the original forms that were brought by IEBC. That exercise took no less than 36 hours and that’s why perhaps the court said ‘we did all this but it turned out to be a wild goose chase’. So if you read the judgements it will explain why every term was used,” Koome added.
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