Uhuru to Supreme Court: Documents in petition were illegally obtained

Uhuru to Supreme Court: Documents in petition were illegally obtained
Six Supreme Court judges during a pre-trial conference on Tuesday, November 14, 2017.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday (November 14), urged the Supreme Court to dismiss certain documents that were part of the petition filed by activists Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalefa who want the October 26 repeat presidential election nullified.

Through his lawyers, led by Senior Counsel Fred Ngatia, Kenyatta asked the six-judge bench to expunge five internal memos obtained from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and documents that were allegedly filed a day after the stipulated deadline including an affidavit fled by James Ngodi.

The petitioners, Kenyatta’s lawyers told the court, illegally obtained the five memos said to have been authored by Chebukati, hence, they should be struck out of the records.

However, the petitioners’ lawyers, led by Ms. Julie Soweto objected Kenyatta’s application saying the Chebukati memos have been circulated widely and are in the public domain.

On the issue of volumes filed after the deadline, lawyer Ngatia submitted; “The deadline for filing the petition was 6th November, but those documents were part of the petition yet they were filed on November 7, one day after the constitutional timeline.”

These applications by Kenyatta sparked an exchange in the court with Chief Justice David Maraga putting the lawyers – Julie Soweto and Harun Ndubi – on the spot over the filing of documents in the court registry.

Soweto later admitted that they filed their documents the following day, on November 7, with the Deputy Registrar Daniel Ole Keiwa confirming that the sets filed by the petitioners were received on different dates.

“Did you have all your documents in the registry before midnight on November 6?” Maraga posed to Ms. Soweto. “No. We did not have them,” she replied.

Soweto further explained the late filing was because the process of taking in the documents was a lengthy exercise and was halted after the midnight deadline, forcing them to resume the next day.

The pre-trial conference for the petition challenging Kenyatta’s re-election kicked off on Tuesday 11am ahead of a marathon hearing of the three petitions before the court.

In the pre-trial conference, judges and advocates agree on rules to guide the hearing of the cases, with the Chief Justice David Maraga expected to allocate each of the party time to argue their case.


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Story By Dzuya Walter
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