, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – The Jubilee coalition expects to file a response by Wednesday to the petition lodged last Saturday by the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) against the election of Uhuru Kenyatta as president.
An official of The National Alliance Party (TNA) told Capital FM News that the lawyers representing the party were served on Monday morning.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, explained that their grounds for challenging the petition will only be made public once they file their response.
“We have been served this morning and our team will respond appropriately within the time the law requires them to respond,” said the official.
The Supreme Court Act gives a respondent three days after they have been served to file a response.
“Our team is well capable of matching the petition that CORD filed in court but we will keep our strategy secret until after we file the response,” he added.
He spoke as Attorney General Githu Muigai moved to the Supreme Court seeking to be enjoined in the matter as ‘a friend of the court.’
The application to join the case as Amicus Curiae means that the AG is not a party to the suit but can be enjoined as a matter of public interest.
As friend of the court, the AG can educate the court in points of law or bring matters to the attention of the court that may have been overlooked.
Both Kenyatta of TNA and Deputy President-elect William Ruto of the United Republican Party (URP) have been named as respondents in the petition by CORD, alongside the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and its chairman Issack Hassan.
Lawyers Fred Ngatia and Katwa Kigen will act for the Jubilee team, while the IEBC will be represented by among others, lawyers Mohammed Nyaoga, Paul Nyamodi and Nani Mungai.
Lawyers from both teams have been holding meetings since Saturday to sift through evidence they intend to use in representing their clients in the landmark petition.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga who is the petitioner wants the announcement of Kenyatta as President-elect and Ruto as deputy overturned and a fresh presidential election held.
In the 44-page petition, Odinga also wants the process leading to their win declared null and void.
He argues that there was no free and fair presidential election conducted, arguing it would be unlawful to have Kenyatta and Ruto form a government.
The petition also argues that the voters’ register was altered.
“The voter register was severally altered as to make it difficult to tell which one was used finally. For the purposes of the 4th March elections the registration of voters was carried out between 19 November 2012 to 18th December, 2012, at the end of which the IEBC announced that 14,337,399 persons had registered as voters.”
The Supreme Court is expected to convene on Monday next week (nine days after the filing of the petition) for a pre trial conference.
The conference will among other things consider consolidation of petitions and to give direction in regard to the filing and service of any further affidavits or the giving of additional evidence.
The court is also expected to notify the IEBC to furnish it with all the relevant election documents relating to the petition before the commencement of the hearing.
The hearing is expected to commence by Wednesday – within two days of the pre trial conference – as required by the Supreme Court rules.
Apart from the CORD case, the African Centre for Open Governance (AFRICOG) has also filed a case in the Supreme Court to contest the outcome of the March 4 presidential poll.
AFRICOG however says its petition is to challenge the process the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) used to tally the final results.