Uhuru wins round one of Supreme Court petition

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President Uhuru Kenyatta's lawyer Fred Ngatia reacts during the status conference of the presidential election petition at the Supreme Court in Nairobi, November 14, 2017. PHOTO: JACK OWUOR/THE STAR

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s lawyers have won a big one for their client in the ongoing petition by Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa, seeking to annul his second win in a row.

Led by senior counsel Fred Ngatia and Ahmednasir Abdullahi, the battery of lawyers managed to convince the Supreme Court to expunge part of the evidence presented by the petitioners to corner the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and President-elect Kenyatta.

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Chief Justice David Maraga in consultations with Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu and Justice Smokin Wanjala during the status conference of the presidential election petition at the Supreme Court after Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner in the October 26, 2017 elections, Nairobi, November 14, 2017. PHOTO: JACK OWUOR/THE STAR

The evidence in question were five leaked internal memos some of which had been going round at the height of internal wrangling by the electoral commission’s top leadership in the run up to the October 26 repeat poll.

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The court was told how the memos were obtained illegally by the petitioners and that procedure was not followed. Youthful lawyer Mellisa Ng’ania argued that the memos would jeopardise the work of the IEBC and infringe on the independence of independent bodies.

In the same Tuesday evening ruling, the judges also agreed to another of Uhuru’s lawyers’ requests who had prayed that the National Super Alliance and its leaders be removed as respondents.

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The lawyers had also prayed that the petitioner’s lawyers should not make references to the coalition’s presidential candidate Raila Odinga’s coalition in their submissions.

Mr. Odinga’s lawyers led by Paul Mwangi, did not object to the ruling and excused themselves immediately the ruling was made.

Following yesterday’s pre-trial session, the six judges of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice David Maraga will formally begin hearing and determining Uhuru’s fate today (Wednesday, November 15).

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Two petitions have been filed at the Supreme Court seeking to annul Uhuru’s win in the controversial repeat election held on Thursday, October 26. Another will run concurrently seeking to block Nasa candidates from future elections over election malpractices.