15 November 2017

Kenya: Supreme Court Hears Petition Against Uhuru Kenyatta Win

Supreme Court judges will this morning embark on a marathon hearing of two cases filed challenging the October 26 repeat presidential election.

Last night, the six judges of the country's apex court knocked out some parties, including the National Super Alliance (Nasa) and Jubilee Party, from the hearing.

The six judges directed the parties not to make any reference on Nasa during the hearing.

TWO CASES

The judges also suspended two other cases, stating that they were not time-bound and could be heard after the court dispenses with the hearing of the two cases filed by former assistant minister Harun Mwau and another by activists Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa.

The court is also expected to rule on whether Mr Mue and Mr Khalifa would be granted their request to scrutinise the original electoral forms, as well as the Kiems kits and the KPMG audit report on voters' register among other documents.

The IEBC and President Uhuru Kenyatta had opposed the application, saying it would be prejudicial and that some of the documents being sought had already been provided to all parties and the court.

With the deletion of IEBC memos and suspension of a case by the Institute for Democratic Governance, the battle will now focus on whether the commission was wrong in failing to subject candidates to fresh nominations after the Supreme Court nullified the August 8 presidential poll.

TIME ALLOCATION

Another matter the court will be grappling with is whether the withdrawal of Nasa candidate Raila Odinga from the repeat poll had any effect in the election and whether the failure to hold the poll in 25 constituencies affected the outcome.

At the hearing, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and its chairman Wafula Chebukati have been allocated more time because "we are the ones receiving the flak".

The Commission and Mr Chebukati have been allocated one-and-a-half hours each to respond, making it a total of three hours.

Mr Njue and Mr Khalifa's lawyers were allocated two hours and President Kenyatta's lawyers two hours.

Mr Mwau's lawyer Benjamin Musyoki has one hour to prosecute the case while Attorney-General Githu Muigai as well as Dr Ekuru Aukot, who were allowed to join the case as interested parties, will have 30 minutes each to address the court.

STRICT

"Frame your issues and manage your time well. We will be very strict on time such that we will switch off your microphone if you exceed your time. Think about the issues you want to argue and make it brief because we have the affidavits and submissions with us," Chief Justice David Maraga said.

The court will also rule this morning on two more applications by parties that have sought to join the case.

The court said a ruling on scrutiny will be delivered on Thursday morning.

CJ Maraga, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Judges Jackton Ojwang', Smokin Wanjala, Njoki Ndung'u and Isaac Lenaola are expected to deliver their judgment by November 20.

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