Apex Court should have read presidential petition judgment – Justice Kimaru
Supreme Court judge candidate tells Judicial Service Comission preliminary issues took up too much time, focus should have been on the main petition
A High Court judge yesterday said the Supreme Court erred in 2013 by not reading the election petition judgment involving Cord co-principal Raila Odinga and President Uhuru.
Justice Luka Kimaru said the court left Kenyans with a lot of questions and should at least have read a summary of the judgment.
Responding to questions from the Judicial Service Commission panel headed by Prof Margaret Kobia, he said as an expert in election petition matters, the apex court should have handled the process better.
The panel seeks to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, following the retirement of Justice Philip Tunoi in July.
Kimaru said preliminary issues took a lot of the court’s time, which could have been used in hearing the main petition.
“Interlocutory issues were given a lot of time. All the applications should have been dealt with in the first in- stance for hearing to start on the ninth day,” Kimaru, based at Milimani, Nairobi, said.
He said for the 14-day period allocated to hear the presidential election to be utilised well, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission should submit the final tally to the court to save time.
Kimaru said the voters’ registrer should also be submitted to the highest court before a general election for scrutiny of votes to be done parallel with the proceedings.
“Since the registers are usually availed to political parties participating in the polls, the document should also be supplied to the Supreme Court to await any dispute,” the judge said.
Kimaru, who has been on the Judiciary committee on election petitions, said about 500 petitions are likely to be filed next year.
He said because Kenyans know the importance of governor and MCA posts, the competition is likely to be vicious.
Kimaru said with his expertise in election petition issues, he should be given a chance to serve at the apex court. Asked which animal he doesn’t like, Kimaru said he detests a rat, as it is a nuisance at home.
JUDGE TELLS JSC PANEL HE DETESTS A RAT BECAUSE IT IS A NUISANCE IN THE HOME
Judge Luka Kimaru
Judge Joseph Sergon
Retired Justice Philip Tunoi