Sat. Feb 16th, 2019

All eyes on Supreme Court as it rules on poll petition

Chief Justice David Maraga arrives for the hearing of the presidential election petition at the Supreme Court after Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner in the October 26, 2017 elections, Nairobi, November 16, 2017. Photo/Jack OwuorChief Justice David Maraga arrives for the hearing of the presidential election petition at the Supreme Court after Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner in the October 26, 2017 elections, Nairobi, November 16, 2017. Photo/COURTESY 

Focus will today be on Chief Justice David Maraga as Kenyans wait to see if the Supreme Court will uphold the reelection of President Uhuru Kenyatta or nullify it for a second time.
Will the Supreme Court deliver a unanimous decision? Will it be a tie or will there be a dissenting opinion once again, where the majority either for or against Uhuru’s election will carry the day?
Should the six judges, who heard the case tie and give a three-three verdict, then Uhuru will carry the day and he will be sworn into office on November 28.
The six are Maraga, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, and justices Jackton Ojwang, Smokin Wanjala, Njoki Ndung’u and Isaac Lenaola.
They retreated on Thursday night with voluminous and lengthy submissions to come up with a verdict that will chart the country’s destiny and probably end months of speculations and political anxiety.
In his closing remarks, Uhuru urged the judges to dismiss the petition, saying there is zero basis to send Kenyans to another election.
Through his legal team, led by lawyer Fred Ngatia, the President accused the opposition of sponsoring “proxies” to challenge his well-deserved win after boycotting the October 26 poll.
His message to the court was “return the country to the Kenyan people” and rule for the “common good of the nation”.
But activists Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa, through lawyers Julie Soweto and Harun Ndubi, told the judges not to fear nullifying Uhuru’s win for a second time as long as they uphold the rule of law and the Constitution.
Soweto said nullifying the “illegal election” will be “shutting the door unto darkness”.
The key issues the judges will look at include the question of nominations.
The electoral agency told the court it was guided by the Supreme Court’s decision of September 1, directing it to hold a repeat presidential election within 60 days.
The judges will also look at whether the election boycott in some regions affected the outcome of the presidential poll.
If the judges, either by majority or unanimously decide to invalidate Uhuru’s win, they will order a repeat election for a second time. The judges may also decide to dismiss the case.