NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – A status conference to discuss three petitions filed following the declaration of Uhuru Kenyatta as president-elect after the March 4 General Election got underway on Monday at the Supreme Court.
During the pre-trial conference, the Attorney General and the Law Society of Kenya lodged an application to be enjoined in the cases as amicus curiae – friend of the court – eliciting objection from the main petitioner Raila Odinga and the African Centre for Open Governance (AFRICOG).
Odinga’s lawyer George Oraro argued that the AG Githu Muigai should not be allowed to take part in the proceedings since he “had misinterpreted circumstances under which he can apply to be enjoined in cases before court.”
“The Attorney General has applied to be enjoined in the proceedings without any request from the court or any other party,” Oraro contended.
He added that an election petition cannot be termed as a civil litigation, to warrant the AG’s inclusion.
He also accused the Attorney General of being part of a team advising the president-elect and cannot claim to advise court independently as ‘a friend.’
Muigai however said there had not been any advice from him to the president-elect, contrary to claims by Oraro.
Lawyer Kethi Kilonzo for AFRICOG also argued that issues before court did not require an interpretation of the law to warrant inclusion of the Attorney General.
The main petition is filed by Prime Minister Odinga, who wants the Supreme Court to nullify the declaration made by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission that Uhuru Kenyatta won the presidential election after the March 4 polls.
All the legal representatives for petitioners and respondents were however unanimous that the LSK was partisan in the matter and urged judges to lock them out of the cases.
The Supreme Court judges CJ Willy Mutunga, Jackton Ojwang, Njoki Ndung’u, Philip Tunoi, Mohammed Ibrahim and Smokin Wanjala were due to rule on the matter at 3pm on Monday before setting ground rules for the main hearing.
Political activist Nazlin Umar briefly disrupted the Supreme Court petition hearing when she insisted on addressing the judges on an application she has filed at the registry.
Umar defied orders given by the Supreme Court judges and insisted on being given a chance to address them while claiming to represent ‘Wanjiku’ (the commoner) in court.
She at first ignored pleas by Supreme Court judges Smokin Wanjala, Jackton Ojwang and Mohammed Ibrahim to take her seat and await their instructions.
She later obeyed their orders when court orderlies and the police moved in, in readiness to eject her out and it was made clear she was contravening the directive “at her own peril.”
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