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

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics - PETER NG’ETICH @pet­kich

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

/JACK OWUOR

Judge Luka Ki­maru

/JACK OWUOR

Judge Joseph Ser­gon

/JACK OWUOR

Re­tired Jus­tice Philip Tunoi

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