Release poll gadget data, IEBC ordered

PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | FILE Observers and journalists wait for results at the National Elections Centre at the Bomas of Kenya on March 6, 2013. The IEBC haS been ordered to release the serial numbers of hand-held devices used to transmit poll results.

The electoral commission has been ordered to release the serial numbers of hand-held devices used to transmit poll results to the Cord Coalition.

The High Court on Tuesday ordered the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to release the information to Cord presidential candidate Raila Odinga’s head of campaigns Eliud Owalo.

Mr Owalo, through lawyer Jotham Arwa, had complained to the court that the commission had refused to release the serial numbers and Sim cards of the gadgets.

“I am told that they cannot be released for security reasons,” Mr Arwa submitted before Mr Justice Isaac Lenaola. “I see no security reasons involved.”

IEBC lawyer Kamau Karori, however, told the judge the commission had given Mr Owalo all information he had asked for.

“IEBC has not refused or neglected to release anything,” he said.

Mr Owalo moved to court to compel the electoral commission to allow it to access information and documents relating to the March 4 presidential elections, which Mr Odinga has disputed.

Using information already provided by the IEBC following the suit, Mr Odinga has filed a petition at the Supreme Court to challenge the manner in which the commission conducted the elections.

Cord is seeking information relating to the transmission gadgets, which the IEBC is reluctant to release.

“We cannot give Sim card numbers as the security of the items will be compromised,” Mr Karori said.

The judge directed the commission to release the serial numbers of the transmission gadgets and directed the parties to return to court on Thursday for further directions.


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