Eyes on Supreme Court for poll verdict
The countdown to the November 20 deadline for judgment on the petition against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election starts today with a pre-trial conference at the Supreme Court.
The apex court starts its sittings at 11 a.m to first determine procedural matters such as the lead counsels for each of the cases filed and the hearing time allocated to the parties.
The court has six days to hear and determine the three cases contesting Mr Kenyatta’s election in the October 26 fresh poll, with the last day of the judgment being November 20.
In the petition against the initial August 8 election, the judges nullified Mr Kenyatta’s win, but published their detailed judgement 21 days later.
By yesterday evening all the parties had filed their responses and submissions, alongside issues for determination.
Former MP Harun Mwau was the first to file a petition challenging Mr Kenyatta’s win on grounds that the electoral agency did not hold nominations for the fresh poll as provided in the law. In their petitions also seeking nullification of Mr
Kenyatta’s win, Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa also argue that the outcome is void because IEBC failed to subject the candidates to fresh nominations after the August 8 poll was invalidated.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), in its response, has however framed four issues to be determined by the court. Among the issues are that the commission conducted the fresh presidential election within the strict confines of the constitution and the electoral laws and that President Uhuru Kenyatta was duly elected as the president.
The commission further wants the court to declare that there is no requirement for nomination in a fresh presidential election where the nomination of the candidates was not an issue in a previously invalidated presidential election. IEBC will also be seeking costs of the suit. The Institute for Democratic Governance wants the judges to determine whether they have the jurisdiction to hear and determine the petition and whether the opposition National Super Alliance principals led by Raila Odinga committed election offences and engaged in serious electoral malpractices and or irregularities by boycotting the poll. The organisation wants the court to determine whether the public has suffered loss and damage as a result of Nasa’s acts and conduct and what are the appropriate orders to be made by the court, if they are found culpable.
In the petition, the organisation through lawyer Kioko Kilukumi alleges that Nasa’s ‘irreducible minimums’ were set unilaterally with the intention to undermine the independence of the Commission and to usurp its constitutional mandate.
The lawyer further says Mr Odinga, his running Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Sentaors James Orengo (Siaya) and Moses Wetang’ula (Bungoma) were determined to ensure that the fresh election did not take place.
RACE AGAINST TIME Gilbert Ogango, a clerk at Soweto and Company Advocates representing two of the petitioners, iles documents to beat the midday deadline for doing so yesterday.