SUPREME COURT BEGINS HEARING ON OPPOSITION LEADER’S PETITION AGAINST KENYA’S PRESIDENTIAL POLL RESULT

NAIROBI, For the next one week, Kenyans will be glued to their television screens as the legal battle which has drawn the country’s top lawyers to engage unfolds in the Supreme Court to hear a petition filed by the main opposition party, the National Super Alliance (NASA), against the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta in the Aug 8 general election.

The Supreme Court will deliver a ruling on several applications made regarding the NASA Presidential election petition challenging the outcome of the presidential election results. The applications range from auditing of Independent Electroal and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) computer servers, the KIEMS electronic system used by the IEBC in transmitting results from polling stations to the central vote-count centre in Nairobi to admissibility of evidence filed before the top court.

The seven-judge bench headed by Chief Justice David Maraga is expected to deliver the ruling on whether NASA’s lawyers, together with its team of IT and computer experts, will be allowed to audit the IEBC computer servers and the electronic integrated systems in the presence of Chief Registrar Anne Amadi.

This request by NASA was opposed by Lawyer Fred Ngatia, who is representing President Kenyatta.

According to lawyers representing the IEBC, the IEBC Chairperson and President Kenyatta, NASA’s lawyers should rely on forms 34A and 34B signed by their agents in the field. This was opposed by NASA lead counsel James Orengo who insisted that the IEBC’s system had changed significantly.

Among other issues, the Judges are also expected to rule whether the evidence filed out of time will be allowed as evidence and whether Attorney-General Githu Muigai, Michael Wanaina and the Law Society of Kenya will be admitted as Friends of the Court.

The Supreme Court will also be expected to set guidelines and frameworks to govern the trial after litigants in the case failed to agree on several points during the pre-trial conference. The court has directed the NASA lawyers to engage the chief registrar to make available a projector to help them argue their case.

The Supreme Court is expected to make its ruling on the petition by this Friday. The NASA coalition has a team of ten lawyers representing them led by lawyer James Orengo and Pheroze Nowrojee.

The IEBC and its chairperson have a team of lawyers led by Paul Muite, Kamau Karori and Paul Nyamodi, while President Kenyatta’s team of lawyers is led by Fred Ngatia and Ahmednassir Abdullahi.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK