NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 16 – Lawyers who represented the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) at the Supreme Court in petitions challenging the election of Uhuru Kenyatta last month, may be compelled to reduce their Sh380 million legal fees.
A source at the IEBC has told Capital FM News that the commission may not afford the bill slapped on it by the legal firms that represented it and chairman Issack Hassan in the petition, as the IEBC had capped its budget for all litigations emanating from the General Election at Sh389 million.
If the IEBC were to settle the lawyers’ fees as demanded, it will only have Sh9 million left from its budget to defend itself in the other electoral petitions, which already stand at 186.
The IEBC source told Capital FM News that the commissioners had been scheduled to meet and discuss the matter on Monday but as at Tuesday afternoon they were yet to meet.
“That fee is exorbitant and the lawyers will have to review it. The Commissioners were supposed to meet but they haven’t met and we will have to wait for them to decide on a way forward,” said the source.
The Commission’s Vice Chairperson Lillian Mahiri-Zaja had on Monday told Capital FM News that the Commissioners were planning to sit down and chart the way forward.
The IEBC had envisaged at least 500 electoral petitions. Of the 181 petitions filed so far, 23 are challenging the election of various Governors, 12 are challenging various senatorial elections and 70 are challenging the elections of several Members of the National Assembly.
Moreover, 67 petitions are challenging the elections of various County Assembly representatives and nine are challenging women representatives.
Among the petitions that the IEBC has to face is one challenging the election of Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, which was filed by former Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu.
Mary Wambui’s election as Member of the National Assembly for Othaya constituency is also being challenged by her rival Mugambi King’ara.