Kenya

Kenya: Odinga Petition Enters Second Stage Today

case http://dan-caragea.ro/wp-includes/nav-menu-template.php geneva;”>The president of the Supreme Court Dr. Willy Mutunga said the judges would abide to the objectivity of the petition and urged Kenyans to accept the final ruling of the court.

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Justice Mutunga further appreciated the presence of the media and invited the public to participate by following the live coverage.


“We as Judges are servants of the law. We shall be objective,” said Dr. Mutunga.


Attorney General Prof. Githu Muigai was the first to speak explaining why he seeks the leave of the supreme court to be enjoined to the petition as a friend of the court as provided for by article 156 (5) of the constitution.

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“The appearance of the Attorney General (AG) is neither to support the applicant or respondent in the petition before the Supreme Court,” said Prof. Githu Muigai in his submission.


The AG further clarified that his appearance was meant for him to lend his legal expertise to the Supreme Court. He said he cannot impose himself in the proceedings because he enjoined at the discretion of the court.


“The AG’s role is to elucidate on legal issues, not to support any side,” reaffirmed the AG.


Meanwhile, the defense lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi had no objection with the AG’s application however the CORD coalition Advocate Senior Counsel George Oraro strongly opposed to the application by the AG on the grounds that he is a friend of the court.


“The AG has applied to be enjoined without a request from the court or any party, an election petition is not a civil proceeding,” SC George Oraro argued.


The AG insisted that the petition before the Supreme Court was civil disagreed with Oraro claims that the case wasn’t civil. George Oraro elaborated that the government is not defined in the constitution but state is defined.


“In relation to this petition the AG is enjoined by the constitution to assist IEBC,” said Oraro.


The Petitioner lawyer George Oraro further said that the incumbent AG is currently advising the President-Elect Uhuru Kenyatta; who is a subject to the petition before the court that the Government. The legal advisor is seeking to be enjoined as a friend of the court as outlined by the 2010 constitution under article 156 (5); which states that ‘The Attorney-General shall have authority, with the leave of the court, to appear as a friend of the court in any civil proceedings to which the Government is not a party;’ a claim that the Attorney-General refuted.


George Oraro objected the inclusion of the Law society of Kenya saying the LSK was biased in the petitions.


However, the Jubilee Coalition Legal counsel Fred Ngatia argued the LSK had carried out an exercise as observers during the last election hence urging the judges to decline the application by the LSK.


Another lawyer Katwa Kigen argued that the inclusion of LSK would not add the value to the petition as a friend of the court a move the LSK refutes but said the court had the final decision on their application.


The session did not go without disruption as former Presidential candidate in 2007 election Nazlin Omar Rujipt a petitioner in another case disrupted the proceedings of the Supreme Court.


Ms Omar claimed that she was representing the ‘Wanjiku’ {woman on the Street} in the court and the court was overlooking her.


However, one of the bench judges Dr. Smokin Wanjala told Omar to respect proceedings citing that the Supreme Court will not be held at a ransom. Another Judge, Justice Philip Tunoi told Omar to defy the orders of the court at her own peril.


Uhuru Kenyatta’s lawyer Fred Ngatia said the petition are not merely mutating but metamorphosing claims George Oraro objected saying that the petitioner was responding to the affidavits.


The Supreme Court is expected to resume its sittings at 3pm and according to Dr. Mutunga the bench would rule on the 3 applications before the court.


8:00am: The Kenya Presidential election petition Monday enters the 2nd stage of Pre-trial session, Chimp Corps in Kenya report.


Five days ago the Supreme Court justices presided over the mentioning of the 3 petitions that were filed challenging the conduct of the IEBC and the election of Uhuru Kenyatta as the 4th president of Kenya.

Under section 140 (1) of the 2010 constitution, “A person may file a petition in the Supreme Court to challenge the election of the President-elect within seven days after the date of the declaration of the results of the presidential election.”

However, within fourteen days after the filing of a petition, the Supreme Court shall hear and determine the petition and its decision shall be final.

The Constitution under section 140 (3) states that “If the Supreme Court determines the election of the President elect to be invalid, a fresh election shall be held within sixty days after the determination.”

The Supreme Court Judges led by the Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga dropped the request to have the have the sittings transferred from the Supreme Court chambers to more spacious location.

However, today the court is expected to rule on the application by the Attorney General Prof. Githu Muigai on whether he shall be enjoined as a friend of the court. The Constitution under section 156 (5) states that ‘The Attorney-General shall have authority, with the leave of the court, to appear as a friend of the court in any civil proceedings to which the Government is not a party.’

All eyes are now set to the His Lordship Dr. Willy Mutunga, Philip Kiptoo Tunoi, Mohamed Khadhar Ibrahim; Dr. Smokin Wanjala, Njoki Ndung’u, Prof. J.B Ojwang’ to define the way of Kenya to head on after the historic general elections.

During last week’s mention, the Advocates representing the parties in the petition were formally introduced in the court and today’s sitting shall make the parties in the petition familiarize with the proceedings.

Raila Odinga of Coalition for Reforms and Democracy CORD has of late expressed confidence in the Supreme Court to deliver justice and urged his supporters to maintain peace and patience.

His campaign secretariat, however, cancelled all his political rallies scheduled for the period before the final ruling of the petition to avoid polarising the country farther.

While attending a Palm Sunday service in his stronghold in Kisumu Raila Odinga told supporters the 2013 elections were between change and Pro- status quo.

His rival Uhuru Kenyatta together with William Ruto camped in Eldoret where they addressed supporters and urged them to stay calm.

Supreme Court last week instructed Parties involved in the case not to discuss the petition in the public domain so as not to undermine the court.

More to follow as the Supreme Court officially begins its proceedings

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