NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 28 – Law Society Kenya (LSK) Chairman Eric Mutua has been summoned to appear before the Supreme Court for contravening an order issued last week over ongoing petitions challenging the election of Uhuru Kenyatta as president.
Mutua, who will appear in court at a date that’s yet to be determined, ran into trouble after he made comments that the court considers injurious.
“Whatever criticisms somebody may have against the eventual court ruling must wait until the conclusion of this case. We hereby issues summons for Mutua to appear at the Supreme Court on a date and time to be notified to him by the Registrar of the Supreme Court,” Chief Justice Willy Mutunga announced.
He said the action of the LSK – which was reported in the media – was prejudicial to the court process because the matter has not been determined.
“The report in my view amounts to a prosecution of the merits of the petition in a forum other than this court. This is a reckless and fragrant violation of a court order issued on March 20, 2013. As chair of LSK, an institution that Kenyans hold in great respect and esteem and which had in fact applied to be amicus curie, Mutua should be the last person to undermine the authority of this court by issuing prejudicial statements,” the CJ asserted.
On Wednesday, the LSK Chairman made comments as he announced the formation of a nine-member team to investigate what he termed as mass failure of IEBC electronic technology systems used during the election.
“We want to determine circumstances that led to the alleged failure of the technology system used.” Mutua was quoted as saying.
The nine-member committee includes lawyers who are also experts in telecommunications, governance, procurement and elections.
They are Koki Muli who is an expert in electoral laws, former Kenya National Commission on Human Rights chairman Maina Kiai, Stephen Kiptinness and Alice King’ori who is a telecommunications law expert.
Others are the Chief Executive Officer of International Commission for Jurists George Kegoro, lawyer Kibe Mungai and Judith Guserwa, a procurement law expert.
Kiai and Kegoro were again warned on Wednesday alongside Africa Centre for Open Governance petitioner Gladwell Otieno and Siaya Senator-elect James Orengo for accessing a room where the court was conducting a re-tallying of votes from 22 polling centres.
Mutunga said he had received reports from the Supreme Court registrar that they stormed the tallying hall at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre causing disturbance.