Kenya's Supreme Court ready to deliver presidential poll petition ruling

Friday September 01 2017

Kenyan Supreme Court's c is set to deliver its judgement on the presidential election petition filed by opposition leader Raila Odinga on Friday at 11am (0800 GMT).

The judiciary registrar Esther Nyaiyaki confirmed Friday that all parties to the petition had been notified to be present in court by then.

The judges' verdict will either uphold or nullify President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win as declared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

The IEBC announced President Kenyatta the winner after garnering 54 per cent of the votes cast during the August 8 polls.

In his petition, Mr Odinga argued that the election was marred by massive irregularities and that the electoral commission breached constitutional and legal provisions in the poll.

Erroneous forms


Through lawyer Otiende Amollo, Mr Odinga said the presidential results were made on the basis on erroneous Form 34Bs (prepared at constituency level), aggregated from Form 34As (from polling stations) which were only available five days after the presidential results had been announced.

On his part, Mr Kenyatta urged the court to dismiss the case, saying that a voter who queued for hours to make his choice cannot be punished for the mistakes of a poll official.

IEBC, on its part, has maintained that the election complied with all the provisions of law and the results were a true reflection of the will of Kenyans.

“It is about the voter. The person who exercised his sovereign will as required under Article 32(2) of the Constitution,” Mr Ahmednasir Abdullahi, President Kenyatta’s lawyer, argued.

Devoid of merit

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati, through lawyer Kamau Karori, argued before the court that the opposition Nasa petition was devoid of merit and the complaints made cannot be used to subvert the will of Kenyans.

He was supported by Prof PLO Lumumba who said the complaints raised are “petty grievances and administrative errors”, which should not be used to annul the wishes of Kenyans.

Attorney-General Githu Muigai, who was allowed to participate in the proceedings as a friend of the court, urged the judges to consider the place of the voter.

"My Lords, elections are not about politicians or political parties but the right of the voter. The court should ask itself a simple question: Was the election free and fair? Was there transparency, impartiality, efficiency, accuracy and accountability?” he posed.

The verdict

Should the Supreme Court uphold Mr Kenyatta's win, he will be sworn-in for a second and final term of office.

But if the judges find that there was massive irregularities in the poll and annul the win, Kenyan voters will head back to the ballot in 60 days.