Kenya: Supreme Court to Rule on Late Affidavits Admission in Presidential Suit

Nairobi — The Supreme Court Judges are set to rule on whether the affidavits which were filed outside the required timelines will be admitted as evidence for the presidential petition challenging President Elect William Ruto’s victory.

The court adjourned until 4:00pm on Tuesday to make its ruling.

Lawyers appearing for various petitioners and correspondents complained of being served with responses and rejoinder submissions late.

Senior Counsel Githu Muigai requested the 7-judge -bench led by Chief Justice Martha Koome to admit the affidavits as they are crucial in shaping the outcome of the case

“We beseech you that if you find that it is out of the normal timelines, you nonetheless grant us an extension of time because resolving this matter is very fundamental to resolving the petition,” Muigai said.

“It is this court that has repeatedly cautioned us that we should never attempt to resolve such a weight matter as to who is the legitimate president of the Republic of Kenya? On the basis of subterfuge.”

Senior Counsel James Orengo who is representing Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Presidential Candidate Raila Odinga was of the view that the late documents should be struck out.

“I would invite the court to look at those pleadings that have been filed out of time and without the leave of the court to be struck out because parties that have been served with these pleadings the last hour will not be able to respond to them,” Orengo said.

The respondents in the case who include President Elect Ruto, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission among others had until Saturday to file their response affidavits.

Earlier, the Supreme Courtconsolidated seven petitions challenging President-Elect William Ruto’s victory in the just concluded general election.

While making the ruling during the status conference the seven-judge bench led by stated that the various petitions raised similar issues.

The judges outlined 9 issues they will focus on during the hearing which kicks off on Wednesday.

Below are the issues.

· Whether the technology deployed by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for the conduct of August 9, 2022, met the standards of integrity, verifiability, security, and transparency to guarantee accurate and verifiable results.

· Whether there was interference in the uploading and transmission of polling station results from the polling stations to the IEBC public portal.

· Was there a difference between forms 34As uploaded on the IEBC public portal, forms 34As received at the national tallying center, and forms 34As issued to the agents at the polling stations?

· Whether the postponement of gubernatorial elections in Kakamega and Mombasa counties and parliamentary polls in Kitui Rural, Kacheliba, Rongai, and Pokot South constituencies and electoral wards in Nyaki West in North Imenti constituency and Kwa Njenga in Embakasi South Constituency resulted in voter suppression to the detriment to the petitioners in petition number E005 in 2022.

· Unexplained discrepancies between the votes cast for presidential candidates and other elective positions.

· Whether the IEBC carried out the verification, tallying, and declaration of results per the provisions of articles 138 (3)C and 138 (10) of the Constitution.

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